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Host-dependent induction of disease tolerance to infection by tetracycline antibiotics

By Henrique G Colaço, André Barros, Ana Neves-Costa, Elsa Seixas, Dora Pedroso, Tiago R Velho, Katharina Willmann, Hyon-Seung Yi, Minho Shong, Vladimit Benes, Sebastian Weis, Thomas Koecher, Luís F. Moita

Posted 07 Nov 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/833269

Synergy of resistance and disease tolerance mechanisms is necessary for an effective immune response leading to survival and return to homeostasis when an organism is challenged by infection. Antibiotics are used for their resistance enhancement capabilities by decreasing pathogen load, but several classes have long been known to have beneficial effects that cannot be explained strictly on the basis of their capacity to control the infectious agent. Here we report that tetracycline antibiotics, a class of ribosome-targeting drugs, robustly protects against sepsis by inducing disease tolerance, independently from their direct antibiotic properties. Mechanistically, we find that mitochondrial inhibition of protein synthesis perturbs the electron transfer chain and leads to improved damage repair in the lung and fatty acid oxidation and glucocorticoid sensitivity in the liver. Using a partial and acute deletion of CRIF1 in the liver, a critical mitoribosomal component for protein synthesis, we find that mice are protected against bacterial sepsis, an observation which is phenocopied by the transient inhibition of complex I of ETC by phenformin. Together, we demonstrate that ribosome-targeting antibiotics are beneficial beyond their antibacterial activity and that mitochondrial protein synthesis inhibition leading to ETC perturbation is a novel mechanism for the induction of disease tolerance.

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