IFNbeta responses induced by intracellular bacteria or cytosolic DNA in different human cells do not require ZBP1 (DLM-1/DAI)

Cell Microbiol. 2008 Dec;10(12):2579-88. doi: 10.1111/j.1462-5822.2008.01232.x. Epub 2008 Sep 2.


Intracellular bacteria and cytosolic stimulation with DNA activate type I IFN responses independently of Toll-like receptors, most Nod-like receptors and RIG-like receptors. A recent study suggested that ZBP1 (DLM-1/DAI) represents the long anticipated pattern recognition receptor which mediates IFNalpha/beta responses to cytosolic DNA in mice. Here we show that Legionella pneumophila infection, and intracellular challenge with poly(dA-dT), but not with poly(dG-dC), induced expression of IFNbeta, full-length hZBP1 and a prominent splice variant lacking the first Zalpha domain (hZBP1DeltaZalpha) in human cells. Overexpression of hZBP1 but not hZBP1DeltaZalpha slightly amplified poly(dA-dT)-stimulated IFNbeta reporter activation in HEK293 cells, but had no effect on IFNbeta and IL-8 production induced by bacteria or poly(dA-dT) in A549 cells. We found that mZBP1 siRNA impaired poly(dA-dT)-induced IFNbeta responses in mouse L929 fibroblasts at a later time point, while multiple hZBP1 siRNAs did not suppress IFNbeta or IL-8 expression induced by poly(dA-dT) or bacterial infection in human cells. In contrast, IRF3 siRNA strongly impaired the IFNbeta responses to poly(dA-dT) or bacterial infection. In conclusion, intracellular bacteria and cytosolic poly(dA-dT) activate IFNbeta responses in different human cells without requiring human ZBP1.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • DNA, Bacterial / immunology*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Interferon-beta / biosynthesis*
  • Interleukin-8 / biosynthesis
  • Legionella pneumophila / immunology*
  • Mice


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Interleukin-8
  • ZBP1 protein, human
  • Interferon-beta