Card9 controls a non-TLR signalling pathway for innate anti-fungal immunity.
Fungal infections are increasing worldwide due to the marked rise in immunodeficiencies including AIDS; however, immune responses to fungi are poorly understood. Dectin-1 is the major mammalian pattern recognition receptor for the fungal component zymosan. Dectin-1 represents the prototype of innate non-Toll-like receptors (TLRs) containing immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motifs (ITAMs) related to those of adaptive antigen receptors. Here we identify Card9 as a key transducer of Dectin-1 signalling. Although being dispensable for TLR/MyD88-induced responses, Card9 controls Dectin-1-mediated myeloid cell activation, cytokine production and innate anti-fungal immunity. Card9 couples to Bcl10 and regulates Bcl10-Malt1-mediated NF-kappaB activation induced by zymosan. Yet, Card9 is dispensable for antigen receptor signalling that uses Carma1 as a link to Bcl10-Malt1. Thus, our results define a novel innate immune pathway and indicate that evolutionarily distinct ITAM receptors in innate and adaptive immune cells use diverse adaptor proteins to engage selectively the conserved Bcl10-Malt1 module.