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Galectin 8 targets damaged vesicles for autophagy to defend cells against bacterial invasion


Autophagy defends the mammalian cytosol against bacterial infection1,2,3. Efficient pathogen engulfment is mediated by cargo-selecting autophagy adaptors that rely on unidentified pattern-recognition or danger receptors to label invading pathogens as autophagy cargo, typically by polyubiquitin coating4,5,6,7,8,9. Here we show in human cells that galectin 8 (also known as LGALS8), a cytosolic lectin, is a danger receptor that restricts Salmonella proliferation. Galectin 8 monitors endosomal and lysosomal integrity and detects bacterial invasion by binding host glycans exposed on damaged Salmonella-containing vacuoles. By recruiting NDP52 (also known as CALCOCO2), galectin 8 activates antibacterial autophagy. Galectin-8-dependent recruitment of NDP52 to Salmonella-containing vesicles is transient and followed by ubiquitin-dependent NDP52 recruitment. Because galectin 8 also detects sterile damage to endosomes or lysosomes, as well as invasion by Listeria or Shigella, we suggest that galectin 8 serves as a versatile receptor for vesicle-damaging pathogens. Our results illustrate how cells deploy the danger receptor galectin 8 to combat infection by monitoring endosomal and lysosomal integrity on the basis of the specific lack of complex carbohydrates in the cytosol.

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Figure 1: Galectin 8 responds to infection by S. Typhimurium and restricts bacterial proliferation.
Figure 2: Galectin 8 binds NDP52.
Figure 3: Galectin 8 is a danger receptor that senses cytosolic host glycans and recruits NDP52 to restrict Salmonella proliferation.
Figure 4: The antibacterial effect of galectin 8 is mediated by autophagy.


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We thank J. Kendrick-Jones (MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology), A. Geerlof (European Molecular Biology Laboratory Heidelberg), N. Mizushima (Tokyo University) and P. Stanley (Albert Einstein College of Medicine) for kindly sharing reagents.

Author information




T.L.M.T., M.P.W., N.v.M., Á.F. and F.R. planned, performed and analysed experiments. T.L.M.T. and F.R. designed the overall research. F.R. wrote the manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Felix Randow.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Thurston, T., Wandel, M., von Muhlinen, N. et al. Galectin 8 targets damaged vesicles for autophagy to defend cells against bacterial invasion. Nature 482, 414–418 (2012).

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