ARTICLE: MDA5 RNA-sensing pathway activation by Mycobacterium tuberculosis promotes innate immune subversion and pathogen survival
AUTHORS: C Korin Bullen, Alok K Singh, Stefanie Krug, Shichun Lun, Preeti Thakur, Geetha Srikrishna, William R Bishai
JOURNAL: JCI Insight. 2023 Oct 23;8(20):e166242. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.166242.
Host cytosolic sensing of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis) RNA by the RIG-I-like receptor (RLR) family perturbs innate immune control within macrophages; however, a distinct role of MDA5, a member of the RLR family, in M. tuberculosis pathogenesis has yet to be fully elucidated. To further define the role of MDA5 in M. tuberculosis pathogenesis, we evaluated M. tuberculosis intracellular growth and innate immune responses in WT and Mda5-/- macrophages. Transfection of M. tuberculosis RNA strongly induced proinflammatory cytokine production in WT macrophages, which was abrogated in Mda5-/- macrophages. M. tuberculosis infection in macrophages induced MDA5 protein expression, accompanied by an increase in MDA5 activation as assessed by multimer formation. IFN-γ-primed Mda5-/- macrophages effectively contained intracellular M. tuberculosis proliferation to a markedly greater degree than WT macrophages. Further comparisons of WT versus Mda5-/- macrophages revealed that during M. tuberculosis infection MDA5 contributed to IL-1β production and inflammasome activation and that loss of MDA5 led to a substantial increase in autophagy. In the mouse TB model, loss of MDA5 conferred host survival benefits with a concomitant reduction in M. tuberculosis bacillary burden. These data reveal that loss of MDA5 is host protective during M. tuberculosis infection in vitro and in vivo, suggesting that M. tuberculosis exploits MDA5 to subvert immune containment.
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