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.
Interleukin 17 (IL-17) is critical in the pathogenesis of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Here we report that Act1, the key adaptor for the IL-17 receptor (IL-7R), formed a complex with the inducible kinase IKKi after stimulation with IL-17. Through the use of IKKi-deficient mice, we found that IKKi was required for IL-17-induced expression of genes encoding inflammatory molecules in primary airway epithelial cells, neutrophilia and pulmonary inflammation. IKKi deficiency abolished IL-17-induced formation of the complex of Act1 and the adaptors TRAF2 and TRAF5, activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) and mRNA stability, whereas the Act1-TRAF6-transcription factor NF-?B axis was retained. IKKi was required for IL-17-induced phosphorylation of Act1 on Ser311, adjacent to a putative TRAF-binding motif. Substitution of the serine at position 311 with alanine impaired the IL-17-mediated Act1-TRAF2-TRAF5 interaction and gene expression. Thus, IKKi is a kinase newly identified as modulating IL-17 signaling through its effect on Act1 phosphorylation and consequent function.
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways characterized by airway remodeling, which includes changes in the extracellular matrix (ECM). However the role of the ECM in mediating these changes is poorly understood. Hyaluronan (HA), a major component of the ECM, has been implicated in asthma as well as in many other biological processes. Our study investigates the processes involved in HA synthesis, deposition, localization and degradation during an acute and chronic murine model of ovalbumin (OVA)-induced allergic pulmonary inflammation. Mice were sensitized, challenged to OVA and sacrificed at various time points during an 8-week challenge protocol. Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluids, blood, and lung tissue were collected for study. RNA, HA, protein and histopathology were analyzed. Analyses of lung sections and BAL fluids revealed an early deposition and an increase in HA levels within 24 h of antigen exposure. HA levels peaked at day 8 in BAL, while inflammatory cell recovery peaked at day 6. Hyaluronan synthase (HAS)1 and HAS2 on RNA levels peaked within 2 h of antigen exposure, while hyaluronidase (HYAL)1 and HYAL2 on RNA levels decreased. Both inflammatory cell infiltrates and collagen deposition co-localized with HA deposition within the lungs. These data support a role for HA in the pathogenesis of inflammation and airway remodeling in a murine model of asthma. HA deposition appears largely due to up regulation of HAS1 and HAS2. In addition, HA appears to provide the scaffolding for inflammatory cell accumulation as well as for new collagen synthesis and deposition.
The antiangiogenic drug sunitinib is a receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor with significant, yet not curative, therapeutic effects in metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Sunitinib is also an immunomodulator, potently reversing myeloid-derived suppressor cell (MDSC) accumulation and T-cell inhibition in the blood even of nonresponder RCC patients. We observed that sunitinib similarly prevented MDSC accumulation and restored normal T-cell function to the spleens of tumor-bearing mice, independent of the capacity of sunitinib to inhibit tumor progression (RENCA>CT26>4T1). Both monocytic and neutrophilic splenic MDSC were highly repressible by sunitinib. In contrast, MDSC within the microenvironment of 4T1 tumors or human RCC tumors proved highly resistant to sunitinib and ambient T-cell function remained suppressed. Proteomic analyses comparing tumor to peripheral compartments showed that granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) predicted sunitinib resistance and recombinant GM-CSF conferred sunitinib resistance to MDSC in vivo and in vitro. MDSC conditioning with GM-CSF uniquely inhibited signal transducers and activators of transcription (STAT3) and promoted STAT5 activation. STAT5ab(null/null) MDSC were rendered sensitive to sunitinib in the presence of GM-CSF in vitro. We conclude that compartment-dependent GM-CSF exposure in resistant tumors may account for the regionalized effect of sunitinib upon host MDSC modulation and hypothesize that ancillary strategies to decrease such regionalized escape will enhance the potency of sunitinib as an immunomodulator and a cancer therapy.
Mucosal epithelium functions not only as a physical barrier, but also as a regulator of innate and adaptive immune responses against foreign substances and microorganisms. In particular, epithelial cells have been directly implicated in Th2 responses, serving as a critical interface between innate immune responses and Th2 immunity. Emerging studies have revealed the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which the epithelium modulates Th2 responses through the production of a group of epithelial-derived Th2-driving cytokines, including interleukin (IL)-25, IL-33, and thymic stromal lymphopoietin. These epithelial-derived Th2-driving cytokines execute a regulatory function of the epithelium on mucosal immunity by promoting Th2 responses and maintaining the balance of host immune homeostasis and defense against various pathogens. Dysregulation of these Th2-driving cytokines can lead to detrimental Th2-dependent inflammatory responses, often manifested in various forms of allergic and inflammatory diseases.
Interleukin-17 (IL-17), a proinflammatory cytokine mainly produced by cells of the T helper 17 (T(H)17) lineage, is required for host defense against bacterial and fungal infections and plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Act1 is an essential adaptor molecule in IL-17-mediated signaling and is recruited to the IL-17 receptor (IL-17R) upon IL-17 stimulation through an interaction between its SEFIR domain and that of the IL-17R. Here, we report that Act1 is a U-box E3 ubiquitin ligase and that its activity is essential for IL-17-mediated signaling pathways. Through the use of the Ubc13-Uev1A E2 complex, Act1 mediated the lysine-63-linked ubiquitination of tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor 6 (TRAF6), a component of IL-17-mediated signaling. Deletion and point mutations of the Act1 U-box abolished Act1-mediated ubiquitination of TRAF6 and impaired the ability of Act1 to restore IL-17-dependent signaling and expression of target genes in Act1(-/-) mouse embryonic fibroblasts. We also showed that the lysine-124 residue of TRAF6 was critical for efficient Act1-mediated ubiquitination of TRAF6 and for the ability of TRAF6 to mediate IL-17-induced activation of nuclear factor kappaB. Thus, we propose that Act1 mediates IL-17-induced signaling pathways through its E3 ubiquitin ligase activity and that TRAF6 is a critical substrate of Act1, which indicates the importance of protein ubiquitination in the IL-17-dependent inflammatory response.
A novel cytokine IL-33, an IL-1 family member, signals via ST2 receptor and promotes Th2 responses, through the activation of NF-kappaB and MAP kinases. Previous studies reported that single Ig IL-1R-related molecule (SIGIRR)/Toll IL-1R8 acts as negative regulator for TLR-IL-1R-mediated signaling. We now found that SIGIRR formed a complex with ST2 upon IL-33 stimulation and specifically inhibited IL-33/ST2-mediated signaling in cell culture model. Furthermore, IL-33-induced Th2 response was enhanced in SIGIRR-deficient mice compared with that in wild-type control mice, suggesting a negative regulatory role of SIGIRR in IL-33/ST2 signaling in vivo. Similar to ST2, SIGIRR was highly expressed in in vitro polarized Th2 cells, but not Th1 cells. SIGIRR-deficient Th2 cells produce higher levels of Th2 cytokines, including IL-5, IL-4, and IL-13, than that in wild-type cells. Moreover, SIGIRR-deficient mice developed stronger Th2 immune response in OVA-challenged asthma model. Taken together, our results suggest that SIGIRR plays an important role in the regulation of Th2 response in vivo, possibly through its impact on IL-33-ST2-mediated signaling.
IL-25 initiates, promotes, and augments Th2 immune responses. In this study, we report that Act1, a key component in IL-17-mediated signaling, is an essential signaling molecule for IL-25 signaling. Although Act1-deficient mice showed reduced expression of KC (CXCL1) and neutrophil recruitment to the airway compared with wild-type mice in response to IL-17 stimulation, Act1 deficiency abolished IL-25-induced expression of IL-4, IL-5, IL-13, eotaxin-1 (CCL11), and pulmonary eosinophilia. Using a mouse model of allergic pulmonary inflammation, we observed diminished Th2 responses and lung inflammation in Act1-deficient mice compared with wild-type mice. Importantly, Act1 deficiency in epithelial cells reduced the phenotype of allergic pulmonary inflammation due to loss of IL-17-induced neutrophilia and IL-25-induced eosinophilia, respectively. These results demonstrate the essential role of epithelial-derived Act1 in allergic pulmonary inflammation through the distinct impact of the IL-17R-Act1 and IL-25R-Act1 axes. Such findings are crucial for the understanding of pathobiology of atopic diseases, including allergic asthma, which identifies Act1 as a potential therapeutic target.
We tested the hypothesis that the artificial addition of heavy chains from inter-?-inhibitor to hyaluronan (HA), by adding recombinant TSG-6 (TNF-stimulated gene-6) to the culture medium of murine airway smooth muscle (MASM) cells, would enhance leukocyte binding to HA cables produced in response to poly(I:C). As predicted, the addition of heavy chains to HA cables enhanced leukocyte adhesion to these cables, but it also had several unexpected effects. (i) It produced thicker, more pronounced HA cables. (ii) It increased the accumulation of HA in the cell-associated matrix. (iii) It decreased the amount of HA in the conditioned medium. Importantly, these effects were observed only when TSG-6 was administered in the presence of poly(I:C), and TSG-6 did not exert any effect on its own. Increased HA synthesis occurred during active, poly(I:C)-induced HA synthesis and did not occur when TSG-6 was added after poly(I:C)-induced HA synthesis was complete. MASM cells derived from TSG-6(-/-), HAS1/3(-/-), and CD44(-/-) mice amplified HA synthesis in response to poly(I:C) + TSG-6 in a manner similar to WT MASM cells, demonstrating that they are expendable in this process. We conclude that TSG-6 increases the accumulation of HA in the cell-associated matrix, partially by preventing its dissolution from the cell-associated matrix into the conditioned medium, but primarily by inducing HA synthesis.
Hyaluronan (HA) deposition is often correlated with mucosal inflammatory responses, where HA mediates both protective and pathological responses. By modifying the HA matrix, Tnfip6 (TNF-?-induced protein-6; also known as TSG-6 (TNF-stimulated gene-6)) is thought to potentiate anti-inflammatory and anti-plasmin effects that are inhibitory to leukocyte extravasation. In this study, we examined the role of endogenous TSG-6 in the pathophysiological responses associated with acute allergic pulmonary inflammation. Compared with wild-type littermate controls, TSG-6(-/-) mice exhibited attenuated inflammation marked by a significant decrease in pulmonary HA concentrations measured in the bronchoalveolar lavage and lung tissue. Interestingly, despite the equivalent induction of both humoral and cellular Th2 immunity and the comparable levels of cytokines and chemokines typically associated with eosinophilic pulmonary inflammation, airway eosinophilia was significantly decreased in TSG-6(-/-) mice. Most importantly, contrary to their counterpart wild-type littermates, TSG-6(-/-) mice were resistant to the induction of airway hyperresponsiveness and manifested improved lung mechanics in response to methacholine challenge. Our study demonstrates that endogenous TSG-6 is dispensable for the induction of Th2 immunity but is essential for the robust increase in pulmonary HA deposition, propagation of acute eosinophilic pulmonary inflammation, and development of airway hyperresponsiveness. Thus, TSG-6 is implicated in the experimental murine model of allergic pulmonary inflammation and is likely to contribute to the pathogenesis of asthma.
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease that exhibits airway remodeling with changes in the extracellular matrix (ECM). The role of the ECM in mediating these changes is poorly understood. Hyaluronan (HA), a major component of the ECM, has been implicated in many biological processes in diseases. This study investigates the processes involved in HA synthesis, deposition and localization during the propagation of cockroach-induced asthma. Mice were sensitized and challenged with cockroach antigen, and sacrificed at various time points during an 8-week challenge protocol. Analysis of bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid revealed an increase in total nucleated cells as early as 6h, which peaked at 6 days. Histopathologic analysis of the lung tissue revealed an influx of inflammatory cells at the peribronchial and perivascular regions starting at 12 h, which peaked at 6 days and persisted to 8 weeks. Eosinophils predominated in the early time points while lymphocytes predominated during the late time points. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) data showed that hyaluronan synthase 1 (HAS1) mRNA peaked within 6 h and then declined. HAS2 mRNA also peaked within 6 h but remained elevated throughout the 8-week exposure course. HA levels in lung tissue and BAL increased at 12 h and peaked by 6 and 8 days, respectively. Inflammatory cells and new collagen formation localized in areas of HA deposition. Taken together, these data support a role for HA in the pathogenesis in asthma.
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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