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Bacterial infection has enormous global social and economic impacts stemming from effects on human health and agriculture. Although there are still many unanswered questions, decades of research has uncovered many of the pathogenic mechanisms at play. It is now clear that bacterial pathogens produce a plethora of proteins known as "toxins" and "effectors" that target a variety of physiological host processes during the course of infection. One of the targets of host targeted bacterial toxins and effectors are the mitochondria. The mitochondrial organelles are major players in many biological functions, including energy conversion to ATP and cell death pathways, which inherently makes them targets for bacterial proteins. We present a summary of the toxins targeted to mitochondria and for those that have been studied in finer detail, we also summarize what we know about the mechanisms of targeting and finally their action at the organelle. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Jhih-Hang Jiang, Janette Tong, Kipros Gabriel. Hijacking mitochondria: bacterial toxins that modulate mitochondrial function. IUBMB life. 2012 May;64(5):397-401

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PMID: 22496061

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