Using tunneling nanotubes (TNTs), various pathological molecules and viruses disseminate to adjacent cells intercellularly. Here, we show that the intracellular invasion of Mycoplasma hyorhinis induces the formation of actin- and tubulin-based TNTs in various mammalian cell lines. M. hyorhinis was found in TNTs generated by M. hyorhinis infection in NIH3T3 cells. Because mycoplasma-free recipient cells received mycoplasmas from M. hyorhinis-infected donor cells in a mixed co-culture system and not a spatially separated co-culture system, direct cell-to-cell contact via TNTs was necessary for the intracellular dissemination of M. hyorhinis. The activity of Rac1, which is a small GTP binding protein, was increased by the intracellular invasion of M. hyorhinis, and its pharmacological and genetic inhibition prevented M. hyorhinis infection-induced TNT generation in NIH3T3 cells. The pharmacological and genetic inhibition of Rac1 also reduced the cell-to-cell dissemination of M. hyorhinis. Based on these data, we conclude that intracellular invasion of M. hyorhinis induces the formation of TNTs, which are used for the cell-to-cell dissemination of M. hyorhinis.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIT) (NRF-2015R1A5A1009024) and supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (NRF-2017R1D1A1B03030413).
© 2019 by the The Korean Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
- Tunneling nanotube
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology