Type I Interferon Induction by Neisseria gonorrhoeae: Dual Requirement of Cyclic GMP-AMP Synthase and Toll-like Receptor 4
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionCell reports. 2016, 15 (11), 2438-2448. 10.1016/j.celrep.2016.05.030
The innate immune system is the first line of defense against Neisseria gonorrhoeae (GC). Exposure of cells to GC lipooligosaccharides induces a strong immune response, leading to type I interferon (IFN) production via TLR4/MD-2. In addition to living freely in the extracellular space, GC can invade the cytoplasm to evade detection and elimination. Double-stranded DNA introduced into the cytosol binds and activates the enzyme cyclic-GMP-AMP synthase (cGAS), which produces 2′3′-cGAMP and triggers STING/TBK-1/IRF3 activation, resulting in type I IFN expression. Here, we reveal a cytosolic response to GC DNA that also contributes to type I IFN induction. We demonstrate that complete IFN-β induction by live GC depends on both cGAS and TLR4. Type I IFN is detrimental to the host, and dysregulation of iron homeostasis genes may explain lower bacteria survival in cGAS−/− and TLR4−/− cells. Collectively, these observations reveal cooperation between TLRs and cGAS in immunity to GC infection.