Mitochondrial antiviral signaling protein (MAVS) monitors commensal bacteria and induces an immune response that prevents experimental colitis

Xiao Dong Li, Yu Hsin Chiu, Anisa S. Ismail, Cassie L. Behrendt, Mary Wight-Carter, Lora V. Hooper, Zhijian J. Chen

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51 Scopus citations


RIG-I-like receptors (RLRs) activate host innate immune responses against virus infection through recruiting the mitochondrial adaptor protein MAVS (also known as IPS1, VISA, or CARDIF). Here we show that MAVS also plays a pivotal role in maintaining intestinal homeostasis. We found that MAVS knockout mice developed more severe mortality and morbidity thanWT animals in an experimental model of colitis. Bone marrow transplantation experiments revealed that MAVS in cells of nonhematopoietic origin plays a dominant role in the protection against colitis. Importantly, RNA species derived from intestinal commensal bacteria activate the RIG-I-MAVS pathway to induce the production of multiple cytokines and antimicrobial peptides, including IFN-β and RegIIIγ. These results unveil a previously unexplored role of MAVS in monitoring intestinal commensal bacteria and maintaining tissue homeostasis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17390-17395
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number42
StatePublished - Oct 18 2011


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