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  • The Proinflammatory Cytokine IL-36γ Is a Global Discriminator of Harmless Microbes and Invasive Pathogens within Epithelial Tissues.

The Proinflammatory Cytokine IL-36γ Is a Global Discriminator of Harmless Microbes and Invasive Pathogens within Epithelial Tissues.

Cell reports (2020-12-17)
Thomas Macleod, Joseph S Ainscough, Christina Hesse, Sebastian Konzok, Armin Braun, Anna-Lena Buhl, Joerg Wenzel, Paul Bowyer, Yutaka Terao, Sarah Herrick, Miriam Wittmann, Martin Stacey
ABSTRACT

Epithelial tissues represent vital interfaces between organisms and their environment. As they are constantly exposed to harmful pathogens, innocuous commensals, and environmental microbes, it is essential they sense and elicit appropriate responses toward these different types of microbes. Here, we demonstrate that the epithelial cytokine interleukin-36γ (IL-36γ) acts as a global discriminator of pathogenic and harmless microbes via cell damage and proteolytic activation. We show that intracellular pro-IL-36γ is upregulated by both fungal and bacterial epithelial microbes; yet, it is only liberated from cells, and subsequently processed to its mature, potent, proinflammatory form, by pathogen-mediated cell damage and pathogen-derived proteases. This work demonstrates that IL-36γ senses pathogen-induced cell damage and proteolytic activity and is a key initiator of immune responses and pathological inflammation within epithelial tissues. As an apically located epithelial proinflammatory cytokine, we therefore propose that IL-36γ is critical as the initial discriminator of harmless microbes and invasive pathogens within epithelial tissues.

MATERIALS
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