Gonococci adhere to and enter certain cell types, aided by several surface proteins. They elaborate one or more toxins to compromise ciliary function and aid colonization. They encounter a variety of environmental conditions as they progress through the various stages of a mucosal infection, and are likely to adapt to these changes by turning various genes on or off. In the last several years, we have laid the groundwork for studying at the molecular level several aspects of GC/host interactions. We propose to continue these studies, which we believe will help us understand key elements of GC biology. A portion of these studies may also help us identify steps for the intervention of cytopathology in gonorrhea, and thereby help prevent a major cause of sterility in women.
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