How intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) recognize pathogens and activate inflammasomes at intestinal surfaces is poorly understood. We hypothesized that IECs use integrin receptors to recognize pathogens and initiate inflammation within the intestinal tract. We find that IECs infected with Yersinia enterocolitica, an enteric pathogen, use b1 integrins as pathogen recognition receptors detecting the bacterial adhesin invasin (Inv). The Inv-integrin interaction provides the first signal for NLRP3 inflammasome activation with the type three secretion system translocon providing the second signal for inflammasome activation, resulting in release of IL-18. During infection, Yersinia employs two virulence factors, YopE and YopH, to counteract Inv-mediated integrindependent inflammasome activation. Furthermore, NLRP3 inflammasome activation in epithelial cells requires components of the focal adhesion complex signaling pathway, focal adhesion kinase, and rac1. The binding of Inv to b1 integrins rapidly induces IL-18 mRNA expression, suggesting integrins provide a first signal for NLRP3 inflammasome activation. These data suggest integrins function as pathogen recognition receptors on IECs to rapidly induce inflammasome-derived IL-18-mediated responses.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy