Involvement of host cell tyrosine phosphorylation in the invasion of HEp-2 cells by Bartonella bacilliformis

Natalie M. Williams-Bouyer, E. Mc Ginnis Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


We have provided evidence that exposure of human cells to protein kinase inhibitors results in decreased invasion of these cells by Baltonella bacilliformis in a dose-dependent manner. Preincubation of human laryngeal epithelial cells in the presence of genistein, a tyrosine protein kinase inhibitor, decreased the invasion of these cells by B. bacilliformis significantly. Further, exposure of normal human umbilical vein endothelial cells to staurosporine, a potent inhibitor of protein kinase C and some tyrosine protein kinases, resulted in a considerable reduction in the number of organisms internalized by these cells. Moreover, Bartonella infection of HEp-2 cells induced tyrosine phosphorylation of several Triton X-100 soluble proteins with approximate molecular masses of 243, 215 179, 172 (doublet), 160, 145 and 110 kDa that were absent or reduced in the presence of genistein in cells after 1 h of infection. Exposure of HEp-2 cell monolayers to anti-α5 and anti-β1 chain integrin monoclonal antibodies resulted in a moderate decrease in the invasion of these cells, suggesting a possible role of α5β1 integrins in the uptake of Baltonella into nucleated cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-201
Number of pages11
JournalFEMS Microbiology Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 15 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Bartonella bacilliformis invasion
  • Endothelial cell
  • Epithelial cell
  • Protein kinase inhibitor
  • Tyrosine phosphorylation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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