Innate immune detection of the type III secretion apparatus through the NLRC4 inflammasome.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The mammalian innate immune system uses Toll-like receptors (TLRs) and Nod-LRRs (NLRs) to detect microbial components during infection. Often these molecules work in concert; for example, the TLRs can stimulate the production of the proforms of the cytokines IL-1beta and IL-18, whereas certain NLRs trigger their subsequent proteolytic processing via caspase 1. Gram-negative bacteria use type III secretion systems (T3SS) to deliver virulence factors to the cytosol of host cells, where they modulate cell physiology to favor the pathogen. We show here that NLRC4/Ipaf detects the basal body rod component of the T3SS apparatus (rod protein) from S. typhimurium (PrgJ), Burkholderia pseudomallei (BsaK), Escherichia coli (EprJ and EscI), Shigella flexneri (MxiI), and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PscI). These rod proteins share a sequence motif that is essential for detection by NLRC4; a similar motif is found in flagellin that is also detected by NLRC4. S. typhimurium has two T3SS: Salmonella pathogenicity island-1 (SPI1), which encodes the rod protein PrgJ, and SPI2, which encodes the rod protein SsaI. Although PrgJ is detected by NLRC4, SsaI is not, and this evasion is required for virulence in mice. The detection of a conserved component of the T3SS apparatus enables innate immune responses to virulent bacteria through a single pathway, a strategy that is divergent from that used by plants in which multiple NB-LRR proteins are used to detect T3SS effectors or their effects on cells. Furthermore, the specific detection of the virulence machinery permits the discrimination between pathogenic and nonpathogenic bacteria.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Miao, EA; Mao, DP; Yudkovsky, N; Bonneau, R; Lorang, CG; Warren, SE; Leaf, IA; Aderem, A

Published Date

  • February 16, 2010

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 107 / 7

Start / End Page

  • 3076 - 3080

PubMed ID

  • 20133635

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC2840275

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1091-6490

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1073/pnas.0913087107


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States