Georgina C. Dowd,Roman Mortuza,Manmeet Bhalla,Hoan Van Ngo,Yang Li,Luciano A. Rigano,Keith Ireton
Whether protrusion formation during cell-to-cell spread of the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes involves exploitation of host physiological processes apart from actin polymerization is not understood. In this work, we demonstrate that Listeria stimulates the host process of exocytosis in order to efficiently generate protrusions. This stimulation of exocytosis is mediated by the Listeria protein InlC and the host exocyst complex. InlC and the exocyst complex control the length of Listeria protrusions, suggesting that they regulate protrusion elongation. Our results identify exocytosis as a host process controlling bacterial cell-to-cell spread.