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Autophagy and Toxins: A Matter of Life or Death

[ Vol. 13 , Issue. 2 ]


M. B. Mestre and M. I. Colombo   Pages 241 - 251 ( 11 )


Bacterial protein toxins are important virulence factors. A particular class of toxins, the pore-form toxins (PFTs), shares the toxigenic mechanism of forming pores in the membrane of target cells. The relationship between autophagy and bacterial PFTs has been described for several toxin-secreting pathogens and in this review we have recapitulated the more recent findings on this issue. A common outcome is that the target cell, by a yet non-completely defined mechanism, senses the toxin attack and builds up complex responses as a protective mechanism for host survival. However, in some cases, this cellular response is beneficial to the microorganism by supplying an intracellular niche or by promoting host-cell death, which facilitates pathogen spreading.


Autophagy, intracellular pathogens, LC3, pore-forming toxins, phagophore, autophagosome, amphisome, biogenesis, , lipid phosphatidylethanolamine, stress, starvation, apoptosis, necrosis, Bcl-2, Beclin 1.


Laboratorio de BiologĂ­a Celular y Molecular- Instituto de Histologia y Embriologia (IHEM), Facultad de Ciencias Medicas, Universidad Nacional de Cuyo-CONICET, Mendoza, Argentina.

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