Curli fibers of Escherichia coli mediate internalization of bacteria by eukaryotic cells. As curli fibers bind fibronectin with high affinity, the role of fibronectin in the uptake process was studied. The experiments presented here support the involvement of fibronectin in internalization of bacteria. Furthermore, a peptide containing the RGD motif, responsible for interaction of fibronectin with cellular integrins, can strongly inhibit curli-mediated internalization. The ability of curli fibers to bind fibronectin can therefore be linked to virulence.
- Bacterial virulence
- Curli fiber