Adhesion Analysis of Yersinia pestis to Host Cells

  • Yafang Tan
Part of the Springer Protocols Handbooks book series (SPH)


The first step in most infections caused by pathogenic bacteria is adhesion to host cell epithelia. Cell adhesion is necessary to establish successful infection. Identification and bonding between bacterial adhesins and special adhesin receptors on the host cell surface initially occur, followed by a series of change in cellular processes.

Bacteria can directly bind to host cell receptors or use components such as extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins to mediate attachment to host cells. The ECM forms a network around cells and mainly comprises fibronectin, collagen, and laminin. The ECM can facilitate bridge-like adhesions between bacteria and host cells.

Fibronectin is a high molecular weight (~440 kDa) glycoprotein that is a key structural component in many tissues. Fibronectin can bind to membrane-spanning receptor proteins called integrins and other ECM components such as collagen, fibrin, and heparan sulfate proteoglycans. Moreover, fibronectin contains a binding site for several bacterial pathogens at its N-terminal end. Laminin is a major element of the basal lamina, a protein meshwork foundation for most cells and organs. Laminin acts as an important and biologically active part of the basal lamina to influence cell differentiation, migration, and adhesion.

Regardless of the attachment method, adhesion is the key process in infection. Thus, it is important to study the adhesion between bacteria and host cells to elucidate nosogenetic mechanisms behind bacterial pathogenesis. Moreover, new adhesins can be identified and characterized by this research.

Key words

Adhesion Yersinia pestis Adhesin Epithelia 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yafang Tan
    • 1
  1. 1.Beijing Institute of Microbiology and EpidemiologyBeijingChina

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