Francisella tularensis Live Vaccine Strain Folate Metabolism and Pseudouridine Synthase Gene Mutants Modulate Macrophage Caspase-1 Activation

Inflammation Program.
Infection and immunity (Impact Factor: 3.73). 10/2012; 81(1). DOI: 10.1128/IAI.00991-12
Source: PubMed


Francisella tularensis is a Gram-negative bacterium and the causative agent of the disease tularemia. Escape of F. tularensis from the phagosome into the cytosol of the macrophage triggers the activation of the AIM2 inflammasome through a mechanism
that is not well understood. Activation of the AIM2 inflammasome results in autocatalytic cleavage of caspase-1, resulting
in the processing and secretion of interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and IL-18, which play a crucial role in innate immune responses
to F. tularensis. We have identified the 5-formyltetrahydrofolate cycloligase gene (FTL_0724) as being important for F. tularensis live vaccine strain (LVS) virulence. Infection of mice in vivo with a F. tularensis LVS FTL_0724 mutant resulted in diminished mortality compared to infection of mice with wild-type LVS. The FTL_0724 mutant also induced increased inflammasome-dependent IL-1β and IL-18 secretion and cytotoxicity in macrophages in vitro. In contrast, infection of macrophages with a F. tularensis LVS rluD pseudouridine synthase (FTL_0699) mutant resulted in diminished IL-1β and IL-18 secretion from macrophages in vitro compared to infection of macrophages with wild-type LVS. In addition, the FTL_0699 mutant was not attenuated in vivo. These findings further illustrate that F. tularensis LVS possesses numerous genes that influence its ability to activate the inflammasome, which is a key host strategy to control
infection with this pathogen in vivo.

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Available from: Ann M Janowski, Jul 08, 2014
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