Intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) act as sentinels for incoming pathogens. Cytosol-invasive bacteria, such as Shigella flexneri, trigger a robust pro-inflammatory nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) response from IECs that is believed to depend entirely on the peptidoglycan sensor NOD1. We found that, during Shigella infection, the TRAF-interacting forkhead-associated protein A (TIFA)-dependent cytosolic surveillance pathway, which senses the bacterial metabolite heptose-1,7-bisphosphate (HBP), functions after NOD1 to detect bacteria replicating free in the host cytosol. Whereas NOD1 mediated a transient burst of NF-κB activation during bacterial entry, TIFA sensed HBP released during bacterial replication, assembling into large signaling complexes to drive a dynamic inflammatory response that reflected the rate of intracellular bacterial proliferation. Strikingly, IECs lacking TIFA were unable to discriminate between proliferating and stagnant intracellular bacteria, despite the NOD1/2 pathways being intact. Our results define TIFA as a rheostat for intracellular bacterial replication, escalating the immune response to invasive Gram-negative bacteria that exploit the host cytosol for growth.
Keywords: NOD-like receptors; PAMP; Shigella; TIFA; heptose; inflammation; innate immunity; intracellular bacteria; pattern recognition.
Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.