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Science 309 (5735): 774-777

Copyright © 2005 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Recognition of Host Immune Activation by Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Licheng Wu,1 Oscar Estrada,1 Olga Zaborina,1 Manjeet Bains,4 Le Shen,2 Jonathan E. Kohler,1 Nachiket Patel,1 Mark W. Musch,3 Eugene B. Chang,3 Yang-Xin Fu,2 Michael A. Jacobs,5 Michael I. Nishimura,1 Robert E. W. Hancock,4 Jerrold R. Turner,2 John C. Alverdy1*

Abstract: It is generally reasoned that lethal infections caused by opportunistic pathogens develop permissively by invading a host that is both physiologically stressed and immunologically compromised. However, an alternative hypothesis might be that opportunistic pathogens actively sense alterations in host immune function and respond by enhancing their virulence phenotype. We demonstrate that interferon-{gamma} binds to an outer membrane protein in Pseudomonas aeruginosa, OprF, resulting in the expression of a quorum-sensing dependent virulence determinant, the PA-I lectin. These observations provide details of the mechanisms by which prokaryotic organisms are directly signaled by immune activation in their eukaryotic host.

1 Department of Surgery, University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.
2 Department of Pathology, University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.
3 Department of Medicine, University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.
4 Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T1Z4, Canada.
5 Department of Genome Sciences and Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.

* To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: jalverdy{at}

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