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Trends Immunol. 2019 Sep 6. pii: S1471-4906(19)30168-1. doi: 10.1016/ [Epub ahead of print]

Guardians of the Cell: Effector-Triggered Immunity Steers Mammalian Immune Defense.

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Institute of Nutritional Medicine, Department of Immunology, University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany. Electronic address:
School of Biochemistry and Immunology, Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland. Electronic address:
Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK. Electronic address:


The mammalian innate immune system deals with invading pathogens and stress by activating pattern-recognition receptors (PRRs) in the host. Initially proposed to be triggered by the discrimination of defined molecular signatures from pathogens rather than from self, it is now clear that PRRs can also be activated by endogenous ligands, bacterial metabolites and, following pathogen-induced alterations of cellular processes, changes in the F-actin cytoskeleton. These processes are collectively referred to as effector-triggered immunity (ETI). Here, we summarize the molecular and conceptual advances in our understanding of cell autonomous innate immune responses against bacterial pathogens, and discuss how classical activation of PRRs and ETI interplay to drive inflammatory responses.


PAMP-triggered immunity; bacteria; cytoskeleton; effector-triggered immunity; innate immunity; pathogens


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