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PLoS One. 2012;7(3):e33299. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0033299. Epub 2012 Mar 14.

Both TLR2 and TRIF contribute to interferon-β production during Listeria infection.

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  • 1Institut Pasteur, Unité des Interactions Bactéries-Cellules, Paris, France.


Synthesis of interferon-β (IFN-β) is an innate response to cytoplasmic infection with bacterial pathogens. Our recent studies showed that Listeria monocytogenes limits immune detection and IFN-β synthesis via deacetylation of its peptidoglycan, which renders the bacterium resistant to lysozyme degradation. Here, we examined signaling requirements for the massive IFN-β production resulting from the infection of murine macrophages with a mutant strain of L. monocytogenes, ΔpgdA, which is unable to modify its peptidoglycan. We report the identification of unconventional signaling pathways to the IFN-β gene, requiring TLR2 and bacterial internalization. Induction of IFN-β was independent of the Mal/TIRAP adaptor protein but required TRIF and the transcription factors IRF3 and IRF7. These pathways were stimulated to a lesser degree by wild-type L. monocytogenes. They operated in both resident and inflammatory macrophages derived from the peritoneal cavity, but not in bone marrow-derived macrophages. The novelty of our findings thus lies in the first description of TLR2 and TRIF as two critical components leading to the induction of the IFN-β gene and in uncovering that individual macrophage populations adopt different strategies to link pathogen recognition signals to IFN-β gene expression.

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