In physiological settings, the complement protein C3 is deposited on all bacteria, including invasive pathogens. However, because experimental host-bacteria systems typically use decomplemented serum to avoid the lytic action of complement, the impact of C3 coating on epithelial cell responses to invasive bacteria remains unexplored. Here, we demonstrate that following invasion, intracellular C3-positive Listeria monocytogenes is targeted by autophagy through a direct C3/ATG16L1 interaction, resulting in autophagy-dependent bacterial growth restriction. In contrast, Shigella flexneri and Salmonella Typhimurium escape autophagy-mediated growth restriction in part through the action of bacterial outer membrane proteases that cleave bound C3. Upon oral infection with Listeria, C3-deficient mice displayed defective clearance at the intestinal mucosa. Together, these results demonstrate an intracellular role of complement in triggering antibacterial autophagy and immunity against intracellular pathogens. Since C3 indiscriminately associates with foreign surfaces, the C3-ATG16L1 interaction may provide a universal mechanism of xenophagy initiation.
Pubmed ID: 29746835 RIS Download
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