Tyrosine protein kinase inhibitors block invasin-promoted bacterial uptake by epithelial cells

I. Rosenshine, V. Duronio, B. B. Finlay*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

155 Scopus citations


The ability to enter into (invade) mammalian cells is an essential virulence determinant of many pathogenic bacteria and intracellular parasites. These organisms are internalized by host cells upon attachment to their surface. However, the mechanisms used by intracellular parasites to induce internalization into host cells have not been defined. We found that the protein kinase inhibitor staurosporine blocks invasion by some pathogenic bacteria, including Yersinia enterocolitica and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. Using Escherichia coli containing the cloned Y. enterocolitica invasion gene inv (which codes for invasin, an integrin-binding protein), we found that staurosporine inhibits invasion by blocking bacterial internalization. Two specific tyrosine protein kinase inhibitors, genistein and tyrphostin, also block the internalization but not the binding of bacteria, suggesting that bacterial uptake may be dependent on the activity of this enzyme class in host HeLa cells. In contrast to invasion promoted by invasin, the invasion of HeLa cells by Salmonella typhimurium is not inhibited by any of these drugs.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2211-2217
Number of pages7
JournalInfection and Immunity
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


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