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Cell. 2014 Oct 9;159(2):267-80. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2014.09.011.

Chemosensation of bacterial secondary metabolites modulates neuroendocrine signaling and behavior of C. elegans.

Author information

1
Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.
2
Boyce Thompson Institute and Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.
3
Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA. Electronic address: dhkim@mit.edu.

Abstract

Discrimination between pathogenic and beneficial microbes is essential for host organism immunity and homeostasis. Here, we show that chemosensory detection of two secondary metabolites produced by Pseudomonas aeruginosa modulates a neuroendocrine signaling pathway that promotes avoidance behavior in the simple animal host Caenorhabditis elegans. Secondary metabolites phenazine-1-carboxamide and pyochelin activate a G-protein-signaling pathway in the ASJ chemosensory neuron pair that induces expression of the neuromodulator DAF-7/TGF-β. DAF-7, in turn, activates a canonical TGF-β signaling pathway in adjacent interneurons to modulate aerotaxis behavior and promote avoidance of pathogenic P. aeruginosa. Our data provide a chemical, genetic, and neuronal basis for how the behavior and physiology of a simple animal host can be modified by the microbial environment and suggest that secondary metabolites produced by microbes may provide environmental cues that contribute to pathogen recognition and host survival.

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PMID:
25303524
PMCID:
PMC4194030
DOI:
10.1016/j.cell.2014.09.011
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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