Research Article

Intracellular sensing of complement C3 activates cell autonomous immunity

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  05 Sep 2014:
Vol. 345, Issue 6201, 1256070
DOI: 10.1126/science.1256070

You are currently viewing the editor's summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Bringing in the agent of your own destruction

Cells need mechanisms to detect and disable pathogens that infect them. Tam et al. now show that complement C3, a protein that binds to pathogens in the blood, can enter target cells together with the pathogen. Once inside the cell, the presence of C3 triggers both immune signaling and degradation of the internalized pathogen. The discovery of this pathway reveals that cells possess an early warning system of invasion that works against a diverse array of pathogens and does not require recognition of any specific pathogen molecules.

Science, this issue 10.1126/science.1256070