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Subverting Host Cell P21-Activated Kinase: A Case of Convergent Evolution across Pathogens

Infection and Immunity Program, Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute and Department of Microbiology, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria 3800, Australia
Cancer Program, Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria 3800, Australia
Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory, Melbourne Health, The Peter Doherty Institute, Melbourne, Victoria 3000, Australia
Inserm UMR-S 1134, Université Paris Diderot, Paris 75013, France
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Pathogens 2017, 6(2), 17;
Received: 25 January 2017 / Revised: 29 March 2017 / Accepted: 9 April 2017 / Published: 21 April 2017
Intracellular pathogens have evolved a wide range of strategies to not only escape from the immune systems of their hosts, but also to directly exploit a variety of host factors to facilitate the infection process. One such strategy is to subvert host cell signalling pathways to the advantage of the pathogen. Recent research has highlighted that the human serine/threonine kinase PAK, or p21-activated kinase, is a central component of host-pathogen interactions in many infection systems involving viruses, bacteria, and eukaryotic pathogens. PAK paralogues are found in most mammalian tissues, where they play vital roles in a wide range of functions. The role of PAKs in cell proliferation and survival, and their involvement in a number of cancers, is of great interest in the context of drug discovery. In this review we discuss the latest insights into the surprisingly central role human PAK1 plays for the infection by such different infectious disease agents as viruses, bacteria, and parasitic protists. It is our intention to open serious discussion on the applicability of PAK inhibitors for the treatment, not only of neoplastic diseases, which is currently the primary objective of drug discovery research targeting these enzymes, but also of a wide range of infectious diseases. View Full-Text
Keywords: signalling; virus; bacteria; parasite; kinase; host-pathogen interactions signalling; virus; bacteria; parasite; kinase; host-pathogen interactions
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John Von Freyend, S.; Kwok-Schuelein, T.; Netter, H.J.; Haqshenas, G.; Semblat, J.-P.; Doerig, C. Subverting Host Cell P21-Activated Kinase: A Case of Convergent Evolution across Pathogens. Pathogens 2017, 6, 17.

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