Detection of cytosolic bacteria by inflammatory caspases.
The sanctity of the cytosolic compartment is rigorously maintained by a number of innate immune mechanisms. Inflammasomes detect signatures of microbial infection and trigger caspase-1 or caspase-11 activation, culminating in cytokine secretion and obliteration of the replicative niche via pyroptosis. Recent studies have examined inflammatory caspase responses to cytosolic bacteria, including Burkholderia, Shigella, Listeria, Francisella, and Mycobacterium species. For example, caspase-11 responds to LPS introduced into the cytosol after Gram-negative bacteria escape the vacuole. Not surprisingly, bacteria antagonize these responses; for example, Shigella delivers OspC3 to inhibit caspase-4, a potential human homolog of murine caspase-11. These findings underscore bacterial coevolution with the innate immune system, which has resulted in few, but highly specialized cytosolic pathogens.
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