Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress occurs when unfolded proteins accumulate in the lumen of the organelle, triggering signal transduction events that contribute either to cellular adaptation and recovery or alternatively to cellular dysfunction and death. ER stress has been implicated in numerous diseases. To identify novel modulators of ER stress, we undertook a siRNA library screen of the kinome, revealing Interleukin-1 Receptor-Associated Kinase-2 (IRAK2) as a contributor to unfolded protein response (UPR) signaling and ER stress-induced cell death. Knocking down expression of IRAK2 (but not IRAK1) in cultured mammalian cells suppresses ER stress-induced expression of the pro-apoptotic transcription factor CHOP and activation of stress kinases. Similarly, RNAi-mediated silencing of the IRAK family member Tube (but not Pelle) suppresses activation of stress kinase signaling induced by ER stress in Drosophila cells. The action of IRAK2 maps to the IRE1 pathway, rather than the PERK or ATF6 components of the UPR. Interestingly, ER stress also induces IRAK2 gene expression in an IRE1/XBP1-dependent manner, suggesting a mutually supporting amplification loop involving IRAK2 and IRE1. In vivo, ER stress induces Irak2 expression in mice. Moreover, Irak2 gene knockout mice display defects in ER stress-induced CHOP expression and IRE1 pathway signaling. These findings demonstrate an unexpected linkage of the innate immunity machinery to UPR signaling, revealing IRAK2 as a novel amplifier of the IRE1 pathway.
Interleukin-17 (IL-17) and IL-25 signaling induce the expression of genes encoding inflammatory factors and are implicated in the pathology of various inflammatory diseases. Nuclear factor ?B (NF-?B) activator 1 (Act1) is an adaptor protein and E3 ubiquitin ligase that is critical for signaling by either IL-17 or IL-25, and it is recruited to their receptors (IL-17R and IL-25R) through heterotypic interactions between the SEFIR [SEF (similar expression to fibroblast growth factor genes) and IL-17R] domain of Act1 and that of the receptor. SEFIR domains have structural similarity with the Toll-IL-1 receptor (TIR) domains of Toll-like receptors and IL-1R. Whereas the BB loop of TIR is required for TIR-TIR interactions, we found that deletion of the BB loop from Act1 or IL-17RA (a common subunit of both IL-17R and IL-25R) did not affect Act1-IL-17RA interactions; rather, deletion of the CC loop from Act1 or IL-17RA abolished the interaction between both proteins. Surface plasmon resonance measurements showed that a peptide corresponding to the CC loop of Act1 bound directly to IL-17RA. A cell-permeable decoy peptide based on the CC loop sequence inhibited IL-17- or IL-25-mediated signaling in vitro, as well as IL-17- and IL-25-induced pulmonary inflammation in mice. Together, these findings provide the molecular basis for the specificity of SEFIR-SEFIR versus TIR-TIR domain interactions and consequent signaling. Moreover, we suggest that the CC loop motif of SEFIR domains is a promising target for therapeutic strategies against inflammatory diseases associated with IL-17 or IL-25 signaling.
The cellular and molecular mechanisms driven by IL-25 and its cognate receptor IL-17RB necessary for the promotion of Th2-mediating pathogenic pulmonary inflammation remains to be defined. We have previously reported the critical role of the U-box-type E3 ubiquitin ligase Act1 (1) for the downstream signaling of the IL-17 cytokine family including the Th2-promoting cytokine IL-25 (IL-17E) (2). In this study, we report that IL-25-driven but not conventional IL-4-driven Th2 polarization and cytokine production is impaired in Act1-deficient T cells. Also, Act1 deficiency in the T cell compartment results in the abrogation of eosinophilic airway infiltration as well as airway hyperresponsiveness in mouse models of Ag-induced airway inflammation. The in vivo generation of Ag-specific Th2 cytokine-producing cells is defective in the absence of Act1 expression in T cells after OVA/aluminum hydroxide immunization. Notably, the production of OVA-specific IgG(1) but not IgG(2a) or IgE is also impaired. At the molecular level, we report that IL-25-mediated induction of Th2 master regulator GATA-3 and the transcription factor GFI-1 is attenuated in Act1-deficient T cells. Taken together, our findings indicate that Act1 expression in T cells is required for cellular and humoral Th2-mediated allergic responses and the development of airway hyperresponsiveness, in part, through Act1s function in IL-25-induced development of Th2 T cells.
In this issue of Immunity, Shaw et al. (2011) report that the NOD-RICK signaling axis is required for the activation of dendritic cells infiltrating the central nervous system, leading to reactivation of antigen-specific T cells and autoimmune inflammation.
Interleukin-17 (IL-17) secreted by T helper 17 (Th17) cells is essential in the development of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). However, it remains unclear how IL-17-mediated signaling in different cellular compartments participates in the central nervous system (CNS) inflammatory process. We examined CNS inflammation in mice with specific deletion of Act1, a critical component required for IL-17 signaling, in endothelial cells, macrophages and microglia, and neuroectoderm (neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes). In Act1-deficient mice, Th17 cells showed normal infiltration into the CNS but failed to recruit lymphocytes, neutrophils, and macrophages. Act1 deficiency in endothelial cells or in macrophages and microglia did not substantially impact the development of EAE. However, targeted Act1 deficiency in neuroectoderm-derived CNS-resident cells resulted in markedly reduced severity in EAE. Specifically, Act1-deficient astrocytes showed impaired IL-17-mediated inflammatory gene induction. Thus, astroctyes are critical in IL-17-Act1-mediated leukocyte recruitment during autoimmune-induced inflammation of the CNS.
Cuprizone inhibits mitochondrial function and induces demyelination in the corpus callosum, which resembles pattern III lesions in multiple sclerosis patients. However, the molecular and cellular mechanism by which cuprizone induces demyelination remains unclear. Interleukin-17 (IL-17) secreted by T helper 17 cells and ??T cells are essential in the development of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. In this study, we examined the importance of IL-17 signaling in cuprizone-induced demyelination. We found that mice deficient in IL-17A, IL-17 receptor C (IL-17RC), and adaptor protein Act1 (of IL-17R) all had reduced demyelination accompanied by lessened microglial and polydendrocyte cellular reactivity compared with that in wild-type mice in response to cuprizone feeding, demonstrating the essential role of IL-17-induced Act1-mediated signaling in cuprizone-induced demyelination. Importantly, specific deletion of Act1 in astrocytes reduced the severity of tissue injury in this model, indicating the critical role of CNS resident cells in the pathogenesis of cuprizone-induced demyelination. In cuprizone-fed mice, IL-17 was produced by CNS CD3(+) T cells, suggesting a source of IL-17 in CNS upon cuprizone treatment.
Interleukin-25 (IL-25 or IL-17E), a member of the structurally related IL-17 family, functions as an important mediator of T helper 2 cell-type (type 2) responses. We examined the cell type-specific role of IL-25-induced Act1-mediated signaling in protective immunity against helminth infection. Targeted Act1 deficiency in epithelial cells resulted in a marked delay in worm expulsion and abolished the expansion of the Lin(-)c-Kit(+) innate cell population in the mesenteric lymph node, lung, and liver. Th2 cell-inducing cytokine (IL-25 and IL-33) expression were reduced in the intestinal epithelial cells from the infected and IL-25-injected epithelial-specific Act1-deficient mice. Adoptive transfer of Lin(-)c-Kit(+) cells or combined injection of IL-25 and IL-33 restored the type 2 responses in these mice. Taken together, these results suggest that epithelial-specific Act1 mediates the expansion of the Lin(-)c-Kit(+) innate cell population through the positive-feedback loop of IL-25, initiating the type 2 immunity against helminth infection.
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