PTPs in Infectious Diseases
Microbial pathogens are responsible for a large spectrum of diseases that are leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Of interest are the pathogens expressing virulence factors that block animal defense reactions or alter host cell function through modulating tyrosine phosphorylation to facilitate their life cycle. Several also express their own PTPs that are essential for their infectious properties. It stands to reason that focusing on in hibiting those PTP may be a new approach in blocking these infectious agents.
Salmonellosis has been known as a foodborne illness, and emergence of multi-drug resistant strain is threatening to become a serious public health problem. Salmonella expresses a DSP (named Sptp) that participates in the entry process of this pathogen into mammalian cells that are normally non-phagocytic. By inducing a phagocytic behavior, this allows the bacterium to be protected from the host immune system (Finlay and Cossart 1997). Sptp is a multidomain protein that includes a GTPase activating domain and a dual specificity PTP domain. Although little is known about the PTP domain, it seems to play a role in downregulating the MAPK pathway (Murli et al. 2001). This may act as a means to shut-off host cell functions.
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