GATA transcription factor required for immunity to bacterial and fungal pathogens

PLoS One. 2006 Dec 20;1(1):e77. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0000077.


In the past decade, Caenorhabditis elegans has been used to dissect several genetic pathways involved in immunity; however, little is known about transcription factors that regulate the expression of immune effectors. C. elegans does not appear to have a functional homolog of the key immune transcription factor NF-kappaB. Here we show that that the intestinal GATA transcription factor ELT-2 is required for both immunity to Salmonella enterica and expression of a C-type lectin gene, clec-67, which is expressed in the intestinal cells and is a good marker of S. enterica infection. We also found that ELT-2 is required for immunity to Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Enterococcus faecalis, and Cryptococcus neoformans. Lack of immune inhibition by DAF-2, which negatively regulates the FOXO transcription factor DAF-16, rescues the hypersusceptibility to pathogens phenotype of elt-2(RNAi) animals. Our results indicate that ELT-2 is part of a multi-pathogen defense pathway that regulates innate immunity independently of the DAF-2/DAF-16 signaling pathway.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Bacteria / immunology
  • Bacteria / pathogenicity
  • Base Sequence
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / immunology*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / microbiology*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / genetics
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / immunology*
  • DNA Primers / genetics
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors
  • Fungi / immunology
  • Fungi / pathogenicity
  • GATA Transcription Factors / antagonists & inhibitors
  • GATA Transcription Factors / genetics
  • GATA Transcription Factors / immunology*
  • Genes, Helminth
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions / genetics
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions / immunology
  • Immunity, Innate / genetics
  • RNA Interference
  • Receptor, Insulin / genetics
  • Receptor, Insulin / immunology
  • Salmonella enterica / immunology
  • Salmonella enterica / pathogenicity
  • Signal Transduction
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / immunology


  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • DNA Primers
  • ELT-2 protein, C elegans
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors
  • GATA Transcription Factors
  • Transcription Factors
  • daf-16 protein, C elegans
  • DAF-2 protein, C elegans
  • Receptor, Insulin