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Immunity. 2012 Aug 24;37(2):302-13. Epub 2012 Jul 12.

A cluster of interferon-γ-inducible p65 GTPases plays a critical role in host defense against Toxoplasma gondii.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University, Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan.


Interferon-γ (IFN-γ) is essential for host defense against intracellular pathogens. Stimulation of innate immune cells by IFN-γ upregulates ∼2,000 effector genes such as immunity-related GTPases including p65 guanylate-binding protein (Gbp) family genes. We show that a cluster of Gbp genes was required for host cellular immunity against the intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii. We generated mice deficient for all six Gbp genes located on chromosome 3 (Gbp(chr3)) by targeted chromosome engineering. Mice lacking Gbp(chr3) were highly susceptible to T. gondii infection, resulting in increased parasite burden in immune organs. Furthermore, Gbp(chr3)-deleted macrophages were defective in IFN-γ-mediated suppression of T. gondii intracellular growth and recruitment of IFN-γ-inducible p47 GTPase Irgb6 to the parasitophorous vacuole. In addition, some members of Gbp(chr3) restored the protective response against T. gondii in Gbp(chr3)-deleted cells. Our results suggest that Gbp(chr3) play a pivotal role in anti-T. gondii host defense by controlling IFN-γ-mediated Irgb6-dependent cellular innate immunity.

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