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Aballay, A, Drenkard, E, Hilbun, LR and Ausubel, FM (2003) Caenorhabditis elegans innate immune response triggered by Salmonella enterica requires intact LPS and is mediated by a MAPK signaling pathway. Curr. Biol. 13:47-52


Compared to mammals, insects, and plants, relatively little is known about innate immune responses in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Previous work showed that Salmonella enterica serovars cause a persistent infection in the C. elegans intestine that triggers gonadal programmed cell death (PCD) and that C. elegans cell death (ced) mutants are more susceptible to Salmonella-mediated killing. To further dissect the role of PCD in C. elegans innate immunity, we identified both C. elegans and S. enterica factors that affect the elicitation of Salmonella-induced PCD. Salmonella-elicited PCD was shown to require the C. elegans homolog of the mammalian p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) encoded by the pmk-1 gene. Inactivation of pmk-1 by RNAi blocked Salmonella-elicited PCD, and epistasis analysis showed that CED-9 lies downstream of PMK-1. Wild-type Salmonella lipopolysaccharide (LPS) was also shown to be required for the elicitation of PCD, as well as for persistence of Salmonella in the C. elegans intestine. However, a presumptive C. elegans TOLL signaling pathway did not appear to be required for the PCD response to Salmonella. These results establish a PMK-1-dependant PCD pathway as a C. elegans innate immune response to Salmonella.




Animals; Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins; Bacterial Proteins/genetics; Bacterial Proteins/metabolism; Caenorhabditis elegans/immunology; Caenorhabditis elegans/microbiology; Caenorhabditis elegans/physiology; Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins/genetics; Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins/metabolism; Cell Death/physiology; Escherichia coli Proteins; Immune System/metabolism; Ligases/genetics; Ligases/metabolism; Lipopolysaccharides/immunology; Lipopolysaccharides/metabolism; MAP Kinase Signaling System; Membrane Proteins/genetics; Membrane Proteins/metabolism; Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Kinases/genetics; Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Kinases/metabolism; Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases/genetics; Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases/metabolism; Mutation; Nerve Tissue Proteins; Proto-Oncogene Proteins/genetics; Proto-Oncogene Proteins/metabolism; Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2; Racemases and Epimerases/genetics; Racemases and Epimerases/metabolism; Salmonella enterica



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