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Science 313 (5792): 1438-1441

Copyright © 2006 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Human IRGM Induces Autophagy to Eliminate Intracellular Mycobacteria

Sudha B. Singh,1 Alexander S. Davis,1 Gregory A. Taylor,3,4 Vojo Deretic1,2*

Abstract: Immunity-related p47 guanosine triphosphatases (IRG) play a role in defense against intracellular pathogens. We found that the murine Irgm1 (LRG-47) guanosine triphosphatase induced autophagy and generated large autolysosomal organelles as a mechanism for the elimination of intracellular Mycobacterium tuberculosis. We also identified a function for a human IRG protein in the control of intracellular pathogens and report that the human Irgm1 ortholog, IRGM, plays a role in autophagy and in the reduction of intracellular bacillary load.

1 Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA.
2 Department of Cell Biology and Physiology, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA.
3 Department of Medicine, Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Department of Immunology, Center for the Study of Aging, Duke University, Durham, NC 27710, USA.
4 Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center, Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA.

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

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