Heat-shock transcription factor (HSF)-1 pathway required for Caenorhabditis elegans immunity.
Innate immunity comprises physical barriers, pattern-recognition receptors, antimicrobial substances, phagocytosis, and fever. Here we report that increased temperature results in the activation of a conserved pathway involving the heat-shock (HS) transcription factor (HSF)-1 that enhances immunity in the invertebrate Caenorhabditis elegans. The HSF-1 defense response is independent of the p38 MAPK/PMK-1 pathway and requires a system of chaperones including small and 90-kDa inducible HS proteins. In addition, HSF-1 is needed for the effects of the DAF-2 insulin-like pathway in defense to pathogens, indicating that interacting pathways control stress response, aging, and immunity. The results also show that HSF-1 is required for C. elegans immunity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella enterica, Yersinia pestis, and Enterococcus faecalis, indicating that HSF-1 is part of a multipathogen defense pathway. Considering that several coinducers of HSF-1 are currently in clinical trials, this work opens the possibility that activation of HSF-1 could be used to boost immunity to treat infectious diseases and immunodeficiencies.
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