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Trends Immunol. 2004 Nov;25(11):601-9.

IFN-inducible GTPases and immunity to intracellular pathogens.

Author information

  • Section of Microbial Pathogenesis, Boyer Center for Molecular Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, 295 Congress Avenue, New Haven, CT 06536, USA. john.macmicking@yale.edu


By eliciting host antimicrobial programs in nearly all nucleated cells interferons (IFNs) help orchestrate the innate immune response of mammals to a diverse array of microbial pathogens. Recent work has highlighted the complexity of this transcriptional repertoire and the emergence of several families of IFN-inducible guanosine 5' triphosphatases (GTPases)--p47, guanylate-binding protein (GBP), Mx and very large inducible GTPases (VLIG)--that subsume pathogen-specific roles. Such specificity arises from a combination of both the type and timing of inductive stimuli, target-cell population, subcellular binding partners and the infectious agent encountered. Evolution of different GTPase families to combat compartmentalized versus cytosolic pathogens reveals a hitherto unexpected level of intracellular discrimination during vertebrate host defense.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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