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Summary

The secreted thiol-activated cytolysin listeriolysin O (LLO) was responsible for L. monocytogenes-induced high-molecular glycoproteins (HMGs) exocytosis in cultured human mucosecreting HT29-MTX cells. By biochemical analysis we demonstrate that the majority of secreted HMGs in LLO-stimulated cells are of mucin origin. In parallel, analysis of the expression of MUCs genes showed that the transcription of the MUC3, MUC4 and MUC12 genes encoding for membrane-bound mucins was increased in LLO-stimulated cells. Upregulation of the MUC3 gene correlates with an increased expression of the membrane-bound MUC3 mucin. In contrast, increase in secretion of the gel-forming MUC5AC mucin develops without upregulation of the MUC5AC gene. Finally, results showed that NF-κB and AP-1 transcription factors were not involved in LLO-induced upregulation of MUCs genes in HT29-MTX cells, whereas L. monocytogenes infection was able to promote the degradation of IκB proteins in the cells.