Innate Immunity to Intracellular Pathogens: Balancing Microbial Elimination and Inflammation
August 9, 2017
Gabriel Mitchell and Ralph R. Isberg
Cell Host & Microbe: Volume 22, Issue 2, 9 August 2017, Pages 166-175; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chom.2017.07.005
Recent excitement regarding immune clearance of intracellular microorganisms has focused on two systems that maintain cellular homeostasis. One system includes cellular autophagy components that mediate degradation of pathogens in membrane-bound compartments, in a process termed xenophagy. The second system is driven by interferon-regulated GTPases that promote rupture of pathogen-containing vacuoles and microbial degradation. In the case of xenophagy, pathogen sequestration and compartmentalization suppress inflammation. In contrast, interferon-driven events can lead to exposure of pathogen-associated molecular patterns to the host cytosol with consequent inflammasome activation. Paradoxically, signals and factors involved in xenophagy also mobilize interferon-regulated GTPases, which drive the inflammatory response, indicating considerable cross-talk between these pathways. How these responses are prioritized remains to be understood. In this review, we describe mechanisms of intracellular pathogen clearance that rely on the autophagy machinery and interferon-regulated GTPases, and speculate how these pathways engage each other to balance pathogen elimination with inflammation.