The importance of I?B kinase (IKK)-induced proteolysis of NF-?B1 p105 in B cells was investigated using Nfkb1(SSAA/SSAA) mice, in which this NF-?B signaling pathway is blocked. Nfkb1(SSAA) mutation had no effect on the development and homeostasis of follicular mature (FM) B cells. However, analysis of mixed bone marrow chimeras revealed that Nfkb1(SSAA/SSAA) FM B cells were completely unable to mediate T cell-dependent antibody responses. Nfkb1(SSAA) mutation decreased B cell antigen receptor (BCR) activation of NF-?B in FM B cells, which selectively blocked BCR stimulation of cell survival and antigen-induced differentiation into plasmablasts and germinal center B cells due to reduced expression of Bcl-2 family proteins and IRF4, respectively. In contrast, the antigen-presenting function of FM B cells and their BCR-induced migration to the follicle T cell zone border, as well as their growth and proliferation after BCR stimulation, were not affected. All of the inhibitory effects of Nfkb1(SSAA) mutation on B cell functions were rescued by normalizing NF-?B activation genetically. Our study identifies critical B cell-intrinsic functions for IKK-induced NF-?B1 p105 proteolysis in the antigen-induced survival and differentiation of FM B cells, which are essential for T-dependent antibody responses.
Themis1 is a protein implicated in transducing signals from the TCR. Mice deficient in Themis1 show a strong impairment in T cell selection in the thymus and defective T cell activation. The related Themis2 protein is expressed in B cells where it associates with signaling proteins Grb2 and Vav1, and is tyrosine phosphorylated after BCR stimulation. Thus, it has been proposed that Themis2 may transduce BCR signals, and hence play important roles in B cell development and activation. In this article, we show that Themis2 is expressed in all developing subsets of B cells, in mature follicular and marginal zone B cells, and in activated B cells, including germinal center B cells and plasma cells. In contrast, B lineage cells express no other Themis-family genes. Activation of B cells leads to reduced Themis2 expression, although it remains the only Themis-family protein expressed. To analyze the physiological function of Themis2, we generated a Themis2-deficient mouse strain. Surprisingly, we found that Themis2 is not required for B cell development, for activation, or for Ab responses either to model Ags or to influenza viral infection.
The inflammasome adaptor ASC contributes to innate immunity through the activation of caspase-1. Here we found that signaling pathways dependent on the kinases Syk and Jnk were required for the activation of caspase-1 via the ASC-dependent inflammasomes NLRP3 and AIM2. Inhibition of Syk or Jnk abolished the formation of ASC specks without affecting the interaction of ASC with NLRP3. ASC was phosphorylated during inflammasome activation in a Syk- and Jnk-dependent manner, which suggested that Syk and Jnk are upstream of ASC phosphorylation. Moreover, phosphorylation of Tyr144 in mouse ASC was critical for speck formation and caspase-1 activation. Our results suggest that phosphorylation of ASC controls inflammasome activity through the formation of ASC specks.
Follicular B cell survival requires signaling from BAFFR, a receptor for BAFF and the B cell antigen receptor (BCR). This "tonic" BCR survival signal is distinct from that induced by antigen binding and may be ligand-independent. We show that inducible inactivation of the Syk tyrosine kinase, a key signal transducer from the BCR following antigen binding, resulted in the death of most follicular B cells because Syk-deficient cells were unable to survive in response to BAFF. Genetic rescue studies demonstrated that Syk transduces BAFFR survival signals via ERK and PI3 kinase. Surprisingly, BAFFR signaling directly induced phosphorylation of both Syk and the BCR-associated Ig? signaling subunit, and this Syk phosphorylation required the BCR. We conclude that the BCR and Ig? may be required for B cell survival because they function as adaptor proteins in a BAFFR signaling pathway leading to activation of Syk, demonstrating previously unrecognized crosstalk between the two receptors.
The C-type lectin receptor CLEC-2 signals through a pathway that is critically dependent on the tyrosine kinase Syk. We show that homozygous loss of either protein results in defects in brain vascular and lymphatic development, lung inflation, and perinatal lethality. Furthermore, we find that conditional deletion of Syk in the hematopoietic lineage, or conditional deletion of CLEC-2 or Syk in the megakaryocyte/platelet lineage, also causes defects in brain vascular and lymphatic development, although the mice are viable. In contrast, conditional deletion of Syk in other hematopoietic lineages had no effect on viability or brain vasculature and lymphatic development. We show that platelets, but not platelet releasate, modulate the migration and intercellular adhesion of lymphatic endothelial cells through a pathway that depends on CLEC-2 and Syk. These studies found that megakaryocyte/platelet expression of CLEC-2 and Syk is required for normal brain vasculature and lymphatic development and that platelet CLEC-2 and Syk directly modulate lymphatic endothelial cell behavior in vitro.
Chromoblastomycosis is a chronic skin infection caused by the fungus Fonsecaea pedrosoi. Exploring the reasons underlying the chronic nature of F. pedrosoi infection in a murine model of chromoblastomycosis, we find that chronicity develops due to a lack of pattern recognition receptor (PRR) costimulation. F. pedrosoi was recognized primarily by C-type lectin receptors (CLRs), but not by Toll-like receptors (TLRs), which resulted in the defective induction of proinflammatory cytokines. Inflammatory responses to F. pedrosoi could be reinstated by TLR costimulation, but also required the CLR Mincle and signaling via the Syk/CARD9 pathway. Importantly, exogenously administering TLR ligands helped clear F. pedrosoi infection in vivo. These results demonstrate how a failure in innate recognition can result in chronic infection, highlight the importance of coordinated PRR signaling, and provide proof of the principle that exogenously applied PRR agonists can be used therapeutically.
Innate immune cells detect pathogens via pattern recognition receptors (PRRs), which signal for initiation of immune responses to infection. Studies with Dectin-1, a PRR for fungi, have defined a novel innate signaling pathway involving Syk kinase and the adaptor CARD9, which is critical for inducing Th17 responses to fungal infection. We show that another C-type lectin, Dectin-2, also signals via Syk and CARD9, and contributes to dendritic cell (DC) activation by fungal particles. Unlike Dectin-1, Dectin-2 couples to Syk indirectly, through association with the FcRgamma chain. In a model of Candida albicans infection, blockade of Dectin-2 did not affect innate immune resistance but abrogated Candida-specific T cell production of IL-17 and, in combination with the absence of Dectin-1, decreased Th1 responses to the organism. Thus, Dectin-2 constitutes a major fungal PRR that can couple to the Syk-CARD9 innate signaling pathway to activate DCs and regulate adaptive immune responses to fungal infection.
Fungal infections represent a serious threat, particularly in immunocompromised patients. Interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta) is a key pro-inflammatory factor in innate antifungal immunity. The mechanism by which the mammalian immune system regulates IL-1beta production after fungal recognition is unclear. Two signals are generally required for IL-1beta production: an NF-kappaB-dependent signal that induces the synthesis of pro-IL-1beta (p35), and a second signal that triggers proteolytic pro-IL-1beta processing to produce bioactive IL-1beta (p17) via Caspase-1-containing multiprotein complexes called inflammasomes. Here we demonstrate that the tyrosine kinase Syk, operating downstream of several immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motif (ITAM)-coupled fungal pattern recognition receptors, controls both pro-IL-1beta synthesis and inflammasome activation after cell stimulation with Candida albicans. Whereas Syk signalling for pro-IL-1beta synthesis selectively uses the Card9 pathway, inflammasome activation by the fungus involves reactive oxygen species production and potassium efflux. Genetic deletion or pharmalogical inhibition of Syk selectively abrogated inflammasome activation by C. albicans but not by inflammasome activators such as Salmonella typhimurium or the bacterial toxin nigericin. Nlrp3 (also known as NALP3) was identified as the critical NOD-like receptor family member that transduces the fungal recognition signal to the inflammasome adaptor Asc (Pycard) for Caspase-1 (Casp1) activation and pro-IL-1beta processing. Consistent with an essential role for Nlrp3 inflammasomes in antifungal immunity, we show that Nlrp3-deficient mice are hypersusceptible to Candida albicans infection. Thus, our results demonstrate the molecular basis for IL-1beta production after fungal infection and identify a crucial function for the Nlrp3 inflammasome in mammalian host defence in vivo.
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