Date: July 15, 2013
A Mission Worth Halting
Safe in a bubble of apical cell membrane that surrounded it and pinched off internally, a mass of dark-stained Shiga toxin is caught traversing a gut epithelial cell. Its target: the cell’s basal membrane and free passage to the bloodstream. Well, not quite. In this example of “macropinocytosis” imaged by Olga Kovbasnjuk, her team used a soup of lysed hemorrhagic E. coli to trick the cell into internalizing horseradish peroxidase (arrow), something no respectable enterocyte would normally take in.