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Immunity. 2010 Oct 29;33(4):583-96. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2010.09.010. Epub 2010 Oct 7.

The Rab11a GTPase controls Toll-like receptor 4-induced activation of interferon regulatory factor-3 on phagosomes.

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Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Department of Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine, N-7489 Trondheim, Norway.


Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) is indispensable for recognition of Gram-negative bacteria. We described a trafficking pathway for TLR4 from the endocytic recycling compartment (ERC) to E. coli phagosomes. We found a prominent colocalization between TLR4 and the small GTPase Rab11a in the ERC, and Rab11a was involved in the recruitment of TLR4 to phagosomes in a process requiring TLR4 signaling. Also, Toll-receptor-associated molecule (TRAM) and interferon regulatory factor-3 (IRF3) localized to E. coli phagosomes and internalization of E. coli was required for a robust interferon-β induction. Suppression of Rab11a reduced TLR4 in the ERC and on phagosomes leading to inhibition of the IRF3 signaling pathway induced by E. coli, whereas activation of the transcription factor NF-κB was unaffected. Moreover, Rab11a silencing reduced the amount of TRAM on phagosomes. Thus, Rab11a is an important regulator of TLR4 and TRAM transport to E. coli phagosomes thereby controlling IRF3 activation from this compartment.

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