Global analysis of gene expression reveals mRNA superinduction is required for the inducible immune response to a bacterial pathogen.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.7554/elife.22707
The inducible innate immune response to infection requires a concerted process of gene expression that is regulated at multiple levels. Most global analyses of the innate immune response have focused on transcription induced by defined immunostimulatory ligands, such as lipopolysaccharide. However, the response to pathogens involves additional complexity, as pathogens interfere with virtually every step of gene expression. How cells respond to pathogen-mediated disruption of gene expression to nevertheless initiate protective responses remains unclear. We previously discovered that a pathogen-mediated blockade of host protein synthesis provokes the production of specific pro-inflammatory cytokines. It remains unclear how these cytokines are produced despite the global pathogen-induced block of translation. We addressed this question by using parallel RNAseq and ribosome profiling to characterize the response of macrophages to infection with the intracellular bacterial pathogen Legionella pneumophila. Our results reveal that mRNA superinduction is required for the inducible immune response to a bacterial pathogen.