Role of GATA transcription factor ELT-2 and p38 MAPK PMK-1 in recovery from acute P. aeruginosa infection in C. elegans

Brian P. Head, Abiola O. Olaitan, Alejandro Aballay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Infectious diseases caused by bacterial pathogens reduce the fitness of their associated host but are generally limited in duration. In order for the diseased host to regain any lost fitness upon recovery, a variety of molecular, cellular, and physiological processes must be employed. To better understand mechanisms underlying the recovery process, we have modeled an acute Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection in C. elegans using brief exposures to this pathogen and subsequent antibiotic treatment. To identify host genes altered during recovery from P. aeruginosa infection, we performed whole genome expression profiling. The analysis of this dataset indicated that the activity of the host immune system is down-regulated upon recovery and revealed shared and pathogen-specific host responses during recovery. We determined that the GATA transcription factor ELT-2 and the p38 MAP kinase PMK-1 are necessary for animals to successfully recover from an acute P. aeruginosa infection. In addition, we found that ELT-2 plays a more prominent and earlier role than PMK-1 during recovery. Our data sheds further light on the molecular mechanisms and transcriptional programs involved in recovery from an acute bacterial infection, which provides a better understanding of the entire infectious disease process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-274
Number of pages14
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 3 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • C. elegans
  • ELT-2
  • GATA
  • P. aeruginosa
  • PMK-1
  • acute
  • disease
  • host
  • immunity
  • infection
  • infectious
  • innate
  • p38 MAPK
  • pathogen
  • recovery
  • resolution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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