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Cell Mol Immunol. 2016 Sep;13(5):560-76. doi: 10.1038/cmi.2016.40. Epub 2016 Aug 15.

The ubiquitin system: a critical regulator of innate immunity and pathogen-host interactions.

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CAS Key Laboratory of Pathogenic Microbiology and Immunology, Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China.


The ubiquitin system comprises enzymes that are responsible for ubiquitination and deubiquitination, as well as ubiquitin receptors that are capable of recognizing and deciphering the ubiquitin code, which act in coordination to regulate almost all host cellular processes, including host-pathogen interactions. In response to pathogen infection, the host innate immune system launches an array of distinct antimicrobial activities encompassing inflammatory signaling, phagosomal maturation, autophagy and apoptosis, all of which are fine-tuned by the ubiquitin system to eradicate the invading pathogens and to reduce concomitant host damage. By contrast, pathogens have evolved a cohort of exquisite strategies to evade host innate immunity by usurping the ubiquitin system for their own benefits. Here, we present recent advances regarding the ubiquitin system-mediated modulation of host-pathogen interplay, with a specific focus on host innate immune defenses and bacterial pathogen immune evasion.

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