Virulent Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) triggers necrosis in host M •, which is essential for successful pathogenesis in tuberculosis. Here we demonstrate that necrosis of Mtb-infected M • is dependent on the action of the cytosolic Receptor Interacting Protein Kinase 3 (RIPK3) and the mitochondrial Bcl-2 family member protein B-cell lymphoma - extra large (Bcl-x L). RIPK3-deficient M • are able to better control bacterial growth in vitro and in vivo. Mechanistically, cytosolic RIPK3 translocates to the mitochondria where it promotes necrosis and blocks caspase 8-activation and apoptosis via Bcl-x L. Furthermore, necrosis is associated with stabilization of hexokinase II on the mitochondria as well as cyclophilin D-dependent mitochondrial permeability transition. Collectively, these events upregulate the level of reactive oxygen species to induce necrosis. Thus, in Mtb-infected M •, mitochondria are an essential platform for induction of necrosis by activating RIPK3 function and preventing caspase 8-activation.
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