Francisco Garcia-del PortilloDepartment of Microbial Biotechnology, Centro Nacional de Biotecnología, Madrid, Spain F1000 Faculty Member (since 03 March 2003)
Group Leader, Cellular and Molecular Biology of Intracelular Bacterial Pathogens, Centro Nacional de Biotecnología
1989 PhD in Molecular Biology at the 'Centro de Biología Molecular Severo Ochoa', Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain. Topic: Role of penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs) during the cell cycle of Escherichia coli.
1991-1994 EMBO and Medical Research of Canada (MRC) postdoctoral fellow in the group of Prof B Brett Finlay, Biotechnology Laboratory, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. Topic: Biogenesis and intracellular trafficking of Salmonella-containing vacuoles (SCV) in epithelial cells.
Intracellular bacterial pathogens are responsible for serious diseases with difficult diagnosis, treatment and eradication. Some of these pathogens have also the capacity to establish a latent infection inside the infected eukaryotic cell. Two key factors sustain a persistent infection. First, the pathogen must accomplish a tight control of the intracellular growth rate, which must be coupled to that of the host cell. Second, both intracellular bacteria and the infected host cell must ensure their survival. Our group analyses persistence at a cellular and molecular level, using the infection of fibroblasts by Salmonella enterica as an in vitro model. In this host cell type, we have shown bacteria trigger a growth-attenuating response. Certain pathogen functions, such as the PhoP-PhoQ two-component system are involved in this response. Lack of this system results in an 'overgrowing' phenotype and destruction of the infected cell.
External Advisory Board Member for Pathogenomics
Microbial Biofilm Research Group
Member of Editorial Board for Institut Pasteur
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