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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

NF-kappaB translocation prevents host cell death after low-dose challenge by Legionella pneumophila.

Legionella pneumophila, the causative agent of Legionnaires' disease, grows within macrophages and manipulates target cell signaling. Formation of a Legionella-containing replication vacuole requires the function of the bacterial type IV secretion system (Dot/Icm), which transfers protein substrates into the host cell cytoplasm. A global microarray analysis was used to examine the response of human macrophage-like U937 cells to low-dose infections with L. pneumophila. The most striking change in expression was the Dot/Icm-dependent up-regulation of antiapoptotic genes positively controlled by the transcriptional regulator nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB). Consistent with this finding, L. pneumophila triggered nuclear localization of NF-kappaB in human and mouse macrophages in a Dot/Icm-dependent manner. The mechanism of activation at low-dose infections involved a signaling pathway that occurred independently of the Toll-like receptor adaptor MyD88 and the cytoplasmic sensor Nod1. In contrast, high multiplicity of infection conditions caused a host cell response that masked the unique Dot/Icm-dependent activation of NF-kappaB. Inhibition of NF-kappaB translocation into the nucleus resulted in premature host cell death and termination of bacterial replication. In the absence of one antiapoptotic protein, plasminogen activator inhibitor-2, host cell death increased in response to L. pneumophila infection, indicating that induction of antiapoptotic genes is critical for host cell survival.[1]


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