Bacterial pathogens have developed intriguing virulence mechanisms, including several sophisticated nanomachines, for injecting effector proteins to manipulate host immune signaling pathways for their own benefit. Therefore, bacterial genomes harbor a wealth of information about how to manipulate the defense systems of the host. Current understanding addresses virulence mechanisms mostly as targets for antimicrobials. We propose a change of paradigm by exploiting bacterial effectors not as targets but as tools for the directed manipulation of host signaling – for the benefit of the host. Recently, effector proteins have been identified that autonomously translocate into host cells, representing a novel class of cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) or effectors (CPEs). Moreover, autonomous cell penetration overcomes a major hurdle in pharmacology by transducing specific therapeutic agents to intracellular targets.
Trends in Biotechnology – Elsevier
Published: Feb 1, 2017
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