Editors' ChoiceImmunology

Shared Signals

Science's STKE  04 Apr 2006:
Vol. 2006, Issue 329, pp. tw116
DOI: 10.1126/stke.3292006tw116

The immune system is classically described in terms of innate and acquired immunity, although it is becoming increasingly apparent that these two arms share some fundamental cellular and molecular processes. In large part, this overlap exists "downstream" at points of gene expression and transcriptional regulation; for example, the transcription factor NF-κB activates a large number of innate and acquired immune response genes. Although "upstream" (membrane proximal) signaling proteins appear to be more segregated, Suzuki et al. find that IRAK-4, a dominant protein kinase already known to be involved in signaling innate immune responses from Toll-like receptors, also supports signaling from the T cell receptor. Thus, mice lacking the IRAK-4 gene showed diminished acquired T cell immunity to viral infection.

N. Suzuki, S. Suzuki, D. G. Millar, M. Unno, H. Hara, T. Calzascia, S. Yamasaki, T. Yokosuka, N.-J. Chen, A. R. Elford, J.-i. Suzuki, A. Takeuchi, C. Mirtsos, D. Bouchard, P. S. Ohashi, W.-C. Yeh, T. Saito, A critical role for the innate immune signaling molecule IRAK-4 in T cell activation. Science 311, 1927-1932 (2006). [Abstract] [Full Text]