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New host defensive weapon discovered in bacterial arms

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Published on Dec 5, 2011

In the never-ending war between pathogen and host, scientists at the Pasteur Institute in Paris have discovered a new defensive weapon, a cytoskeletal protein called septin that cages invading bacteria. The septin cages prevent the pathogens from spreading to other cells, targeting the bacteria for degradation by the cell's internal garbage disposal system, according to Pascale Cossart and Serge Mostowy, researchers at the institution founded by Louis Pasteur, who first pioneered the study of how microbes attack humans.

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