Campylobacter jejuni has been shown to bind to and enter epithelial cells in culture. The interaction of C. jejuni with INT 407 epithelial cells was examined to determine whether bacterial protein synthesis is required for either binding or internalization. Chloramphenicol, a selective inhibitor of bacterial protein synthesis, significantly reduced the internalization, but not binding, of C. jejuni compared with untreated controls as determined by protection from gentamicin. Electrophoretic analysis of metabolically labeled proteins revealed that C. jejuni cultured with INT 407 cells synthesized 14 proteins that were not detected in organisms cultured in medium alone. The inhibitory effect of chloramphenicol on internalization was reduced by preincubation of C. jejuni with INT 407 cells. The results indicate that C. jejuni, like some other enteric pathogens, engages in a directed response to cocultivation with epithelial cells by synthesizing one or more proteins that facilitate internalization and suggest that this phenomenon is relevant to the pathogenesis of enteritis caused by C. jejuni
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