Research ArticleINNATE IMMUNITY

Deep-sea microbes as tools to refine the rules of innate immune pattern recognition

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Science Immunology  12 Mar 2021:
Vol. 6, Issue 57, eabe0531
DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.abe0531

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Deep-sea microbes exhibit immunosilence

The innate immune system of mammals uses pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) to detect conserved ligands displayed by potentially pathogenic microbes. To probe the performance of mammalian PRRs when confronted with microbes from a largely foreign ecosystem, Gauthier et al. isolated culturable bacteria from deep-sea Pacific Ocean water samples. Most isolates obtained were Gram-negative Gammaproteobacteria from the Moritella genus. The form of the prototype PRR agonist lipopolysaccharide (LPS) found in the outer membrane of most deep-sea Moritella strains was deficient at engaging with mouse and human LPS-sensing PRRs despite retaining most structural features of LPS from human intestinal E. coli. These findings reveal that the broad recognition powers of PRRs have boundaries that can be violated by a subset of microbes recovered from extreme environments.

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