Invasion of non-phagocytic cells by a number of bacterial pathogens involves the subversion of the actin cytoskeletal remodelling machinery to produce actin-rich cell surface projections designed to engulf the bacteria. The signalling that occurs to induce these actin-rich structures has considerable overlap among a diverse group of bacteria. The molecular organization within these structures act in concert to internalize the invading pathogen. This dynamic process could be subdivided into three acts - actin recruitment, engulfment, and finally, actin disassembly/internalization. This review will present the current state of knowledge of the molecular processes involved in each stage of bacterial invasion, and provide a perspective that highlights the temporal and spatial control of actin remodelling that occurs during bacterial invasion.
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