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J Biol Chem. 2005 Apr 8;280(14):14042-50. Epub 2005 Feb 4.

A novel caspase-1/toll-like receptor 4-independent pathway of cell death induced by cytosolic Shigella in infected macrophages.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo, 4-6-1, Shirokanedai, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-8639, Japan.


Shigella-induced macrophage cell death is an important step in the induction of acute inflammatory responses that ultimately lead to bacillary dysentery. Cell death was previously reported to be dependent upon the activation of caspase-1 via interaction with IpaB secreted by intracellular Shigella, but in this study, we show that Shigella infection of macrophages can also induce cell death independent of caspase-1 or IpaB activity. Time-lapse imaging and electron microscopic analyses indicated that caspase-1-dependent and -independent cell death is morphologically indistinguishable and that both resemble necrosis. Analyses of Shigella mutants or Escherichia coli using co-infection with Listeria suggested that a component common to Gram-negative bacteria is involved in inducing caspase-1-independent cell death. Further studies revealed that translocation of bacterial lipid A into the cytosol of macrophages potentially mediates cell death. Notably, cell death induced by cytosolic bacteria was TLR4-independent. These results identify a novel cell death pathway induced by intracellular Gram-negative bacteria that may play a role in microbial-host interactions and inflammatory responses.

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