Microbiol Immunol 2011 Jul;55(7):459-71
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo, 4-6-1, Shirokanedai, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-8639, Japan.
Autophagy is the host innate immune system's first line of defense against microbial intruders. When the innate defense system recognizes invading bacterial pathogens and their infection processes, autophagic proteins act as cytosolic sensors that allow the autophagic pathway to be rapidly activated. However, many intracellular bacterial pathogens deploy highly evolved mechanisms to evade autophagic recognition, manipulate the autophagic pathway, and remodel the autophagosomal compartment for their own benefit. Here current topics regarding the recognition of invasive bacteria by the cytosolic innate immune system are highlighted, including autophagy and the mechanisms that enable bacteria to evade autophagy. Also highlighted are some selective examples of bacterial activities that manipulate the autophagic pathways for their own benefit.