Tuning innate immunity by translation

Biochem Soc Trans. 2015 Dec;43(6):1247-52. doi: 10.1042/BST20150166.


In multicellular organisms, the epithelia is a contact surface with the surrounding environment and is exposed to a variety of adverse biotic (pathogenic) and abiotic (chemical) factors. Multi-layered pathways that operate on different time scales have evolved to preserve cellular integrity and elicit stress-specific response. Several stress-response programs are activated until a complete elimination of the stress is achieved. The innate immune response, which is triggered by pathogenic invasion, is rather harmful when active over a prolonged time, thus the response follows characteristic oscillatory trajectories. Here, we review different translation programs that function to precisely fine-tune the time at which various components of the innate immune response dwell between active and inactive. We discuss how different pro-inflammatory pathways are co-ordinated to temporally offset single reactions and to achieve an optimal balance between fighting pathogens and being less harmful for healthy cells.

Keywords: infection; inflammation; interferons; interleukins; translation; translation initiation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptive Immunity / genetics
  • Adaptive Immunity / immunology*
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate / genetics
  • Immunity, Innate / immunology*
  • Inflammation Mediators / immunology
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism
  • Interferon-gamma / genetics
  • Interferon-gamma / immunology
  • Interferon-gamma / metabolism
  • Models, Genetic
  • Models, Immunological
  • Protein Biosynthesis / genetics
  • Protein Biosynthesis / immunology*
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • Signal Transduction / immunology*


  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Interferon-gamma