Retinoic acid-inducible gene-I (RIG-I) plays an important role in antiviral response by recognizing double-stranded RNA. Here we demonstrate an unanticipated role of RIG-I in Toll-like receptor (TLR)-stimulated phagocytosis. Stimulation with lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a ligand of TLR4, induced the expression of RIG-I in macrophages. Depletion of RIG-I by RNAi or gene targeting inhibited the LPS-induced phagocytosis of bacteria. Cellular processes involved in phagocytosis, such as small GTPase Cdc42/Rac1 activation, actin polymerization, and actin-regulator Arp2/3 recruitment, were also impaired in RIG-I-deficient macrophages activated by LPS. Moreover, RIG-I-/- mice were found to be more susceptible to infection with Escherichia coli as compared to wild-type mice. Thus, the regulatory functions of RIG-I are strikingly broad, including a role not only in antiviral responses but in antibacterial responses as well.
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