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Intracellular/surface moonlighting proteins that aid in the attachment of gut microbiota to the host

Constance J. Jeffery

*Corresponding author: Constance J. Jeffery cjeffery@uic.edu

microbiology2019,1,77doi:10.3934/microbiol.2019.1.77

The gut microbiota use proteins on their surface to form and maintain interactions with host cells and tissues. In recent years, many of these cell surface proteins have been found to be identical to intracellular enzymes and chaperones. When displayed on the cell surface these moonlighting proteins help the microbe attach to the host by interacting with receptors on the surface of host cells, components of the extracellular matrix, and mucin in the mucosal lining of the digestive tract. Binding of these proteins to the soluble host protein plasminogen promotes the conversion of plasminogen to an active protease, plasmin, which activates other host proteins that aid in infection and virulence. In this mini-review, we discuss intracellular/surface moonlighting proteins of pathogenic and probiotic bacteria and eukaryotic gut microbiota.

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