Intracellular pathogenic bacteria invade mammalian host cells in membrane bound vesicles called phagosomes (or endosomes). Among the various anti-microbial strategies, the host exerts its defense against intracellular bacteria by directing the phagosomes to fuse with the lysosomes for degradation.
However, the pathogens have evolved several survival mechanisms to prevent this fusion event. Prominent ploys include causing phagosome arrest or escaping to the cytoplasm by damaging phagosomes. Both these outcomes allow unrestricted access to the nutrient-rich cytoplasm and provide an ideal environment for the replication of bacteria. As a countermeasure, the host strategies include a selective macroautophagy (hereafter autophagy) process known as xenophagy to capture such intracellular pathogens by encapsulating them within a double-membrane vesicle known as xenophagosome and subject them for lysosomal clearance.
Treatment with Acacetin (an autophagy inducer) leads to decreased load of intracellular pathogen.
© 2021, JNCASR, Jakkur, Bangalore, India