2019 journal article
Necroptosis mediators RIPK3 and MLKL suppress intracellular Listeria replication independently of host cell killing
JOURNAL OF CELL BIOLOGY, 218(6), 1994–2005.
RIPK3, a key mediator of necroptosis, has been implicated in the host defense against viral infection primary in immune cells. However, gene expression analysis revealed that RIPK3 is abundantly expressed not only in immune organs but also in the gastrointestinal tract, particularly in the small intestine. We found that orally inoculated Listeria monocytogenes, a bacterial foodborne pathogen, efficiently spread and caused systemic infection in Ripk3-deficient mice while almost no dissemination was observed in wild-type mice. Listeria infection activated the RIPK3-MLKL pathway in cultured cells, which resulted in suppression of intracellular replication of Listeria. Surprisingly, Listeria infection–induced phosphorylation of MLKL did not result in host cell killing. We found that MLKL directly binds to Listeria and inhibits their replication in the cytosol. Our findings have revealed a novel functional role of the RIPK3-MLKL pathway in nonimmune cell-derived host defense against Listeria invasion, which is mediated through cell death–independent mechanisms.