The transcription factor interferon regulatory factor 5 (IRF5) has been identified as a human systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) susceptibility gene by numerous joint linkage and genome-wide association studies. Although IRF5 expression is significantly elevated in primary blood cells of SLE patients, it is not yet known how IRF5 contributes to SLE pathogenesis. Recent data from mouse models of lupus indicate a critical role for IRF5 in the production of pathogenic autoantibodies and the expression of Th2 cytokines and type I IFN. In the current study, we examined the mechanism(s) by which loss of Irf5 protects mice from pristane-induced lupus at early time points of disease development. We demonstrate that Irf5 is required for Ly6C(hi) monocyte trafficking to the peritoneal cavity (PC), which is believed to be one of the initial key events leading to lupus pathogenesis in this model. Chemotaxis assays using peritoneal lavage from pristane-injected Irf5+/+ and Irf5−/− littermates support an intrinsic defect in Irf5−/− monocytes. We found the expression of chemokine receptors CXCR4 and CCR2 to be dysregulated on Irf5−/− monocytes and less responsive to their respective ligands, CXCL12 and CCL2. Bone marrow reconstitution experiments further supported an intrinsic defect in Irf5−/− monocytes since Irf5+/+ monocytes were preferentially recruited to the PC in response to pristane. Together, these findings demonstrate an intrinsic role for IRF5 in the response of monocytes to pristane, and their recruitment to the primary site of inflammation that is thought to trigger lupus onset in this experimental model of SLE.
The transcription factor interferon regulatory factor 5 (IRF5) exerts crucial functions in the regulation of host immunity against extracellular pathogens, DNA damage-induced apoptosis, death receptor signaling, and macrophage polarization. Tight regulation of IRF5 is thus warranted for an efficient response toward extracellular stressors and for limiting autoimmune and inflammatory responses. Here we report that the COP9 signalosome (CSN), a general modulator of diverse cellular and developmental processes, associates constitutively with IRF5 and promotes its protein stability. The constitutive CSN/IRF5 interaction was identified using proteomics and confirmed by endogenous immunoprecipitations. The CSN/IRF5 interaction occurred on the carboxyl and amino termini of IRF5; a single internal deletion from amino acids 455 to 466 (Δ455-466) was found to significantly reduce IRF5 protein stability. CSN subunit 3 (CSN3) was identified as a direct interacting partner of IRF5, and knockdown of this subunit with small interfering RNAs resulted in enhanced degradation. Degradation was further augmented by knockdown of CSN1 and CSN3 together. The ubiquitin E1 inhibitor UBEI-41 or the proteasome inhibitor MG132 prevented IRF5 degradation, supporting the idea that its stability is regulated by the ubiquitin-proteasome system. Importantly, activation of IRF5 by the death receptor ligand tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) resulted in enhanced degradation via loss of the CSN/IRF5 interaction. This study defines CSN to be a new interacting partner of IRF5 that controls its stability.
Migration of breast cancer cells out of a duct or lobule is a prerequisite for invasion and metastasis. However, the factors controlling breast cancer cell migration are not fully elucidated. We previously found that expression of the transcription factor interferon regulatory factor 5 (IRF5) is significantly decreased as a breast lesion progresses from a non-malignant stage to ductal carcinoma in situ and is eventually lost in ~80% of invasive ductal carcinomas examined. Human in vitro and murine in vivo models of invasive breast cancer confirmed an important role for IRF5 in regulating cell motility, invasion and/or metastasis; yet, the mechanism(s) by which this occurs is not known. Since IRF5 is primarily expressed in the cytoplasm of human mammary epithelial cells, we hypothesized that IRF5 may function in a transcription-independent manner to control intrinsic cell migration.
A series of IRF5 deletion mutants were tested in cell motility, invasion and migration assays. A novel, conserved 10 amino acid domain was identified that regulates mammary epithelial cell migration. This region (∆115-125) is downstream of IRF5′s DNA binding domain and therefore when absent, retains IRF5 transcription activity but loses cell migration control. An IRF5 construct with a mutated nuclear localization signal further confirmed that IRF5 controls migration in a cytoplasmic and transcription-independent manner. Candidate cytoskeletal molecules were identified in MDA-MB-231 cells to interact with IRF5 by immunoprecipitation and mass spectrometry analysis. α6-tubulin was independently confirmed to interact with endogenous IRF5 in MCF-10A cells. Alterations in F-actin bundling after staining EV- and IRF5-231 cells with phalloidin suggests that IRF5 may control cell migration/motility through its interaction with cytoskeletal molecules that contribute to the formation of F-actin networks. Last and most notably, we found that IRF5′s control of cell migration is not restricted to mammary epithelial cells but functions in other epithelial cell types suggesting a more global role for this newly identified cell migratory function of IRF5.
These findings are significant as they identify a new regulator of epithelial cell migration and provide specific insight into the mechanism(s) by which loss of IRF5 expression in mammary epithelial cells contributes to breast cancer metastasis.
Interferon regulatory factor 5; IRF5; Epithelial cell migration; Motility; Breast cancer metastasis
Genetic variants of interferon regulatory factor 5 (IRF5) are associated with susceptibility to systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). IRF5 regulates the expression of proinflammatory cytokines and type I interferons (IFN) believed to be involved in SLE pathogenesis. The aim of this study was to determine the activation status of IRF5 by assessing its nuclear localization in immune cells of SLE patients and healthy donors, and to identify SLE triggers of IRF5 activation.
IRF5 nuclear localization in subpopulations of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from 14 genotyped SLE patients and 11 healthy controls was assessed using imaging flow cytometry. IRF5 activation and function were examined after ex vivo stimulation of healthy donor monocytes with SLE serum or components of SLE serum. Cellular localization was determined by ImageStream and cytokine expression by Q-PCR and ELISA.
IRF5 was activated in a cell type-specific manner; monocytes of SLE patients had constitutively elevated levels of nuclear IRF5 compared to NK and T cells. SLE serum was identified as a trigger for IRF5 nuclear accumulation; however, neither IFNα nor SLE immune complexes could induce nuclear localization. Instead, autoantigens comprised of apoptotic/necrotic material triggered IRF5 nuclear accumulation in monocytes. Production of cytokines IFNα, TNFα and IL6 in monocytes stimulated with SLE serum or autoantigens was distinct yet correlated with the kinetics of IRF5 nuclear localization.
This study provides the first formal proof that IRF5 activation is altered in monocytes of SLE patients that is in part contributed by the SLE blood environment.
Recent evidence indicates a new role for histone deacetylases (HDACs) in the activation of genes governing the host immune response. Virus, along with other pathogenic stimuli, triggers an antiviral defense mechanism through the induction of IFN, IFN-stimulated genes, and other proinflammatory cytokines. Many of these genes have been shown to be regulated by transcription factors of the IFN regulatory factor (IRF) family. Recent studies from IRF5 knockout mice have confirmed a critical role for IRF5 in virus-induced type I IFN expression and proinflammatory cytokines IL-6, IL-12, and TNF-α; yet, little is known of the molecular mechanism of IRF5-mediated proinflammatory cytokine expression. In this study, we show that both HDACs and histone acetyltransferases (HATs) associate with IRF5, leading to alterations in its transactivation ability. Using the HDAC inhibitor trichostatin A, we demonstrate that ISRE, IFNA, and IL6 promoters require HDAC activity for transactivation and transcription, whereas TNFα does not. Mapping the interaction of corepressor proteins (HDAC1, silencing mediator of retinoid and thyroid receptor/nuclear corepressor of retinoid receptor, and Sin3a) and HATs to IRF5 revealed distinct differences, including the dependence of IRF5 phosphorylation on HAT association resulting in IRF5 acetylation. Data presented in this study support a mechanism whereby virus triggers the dynamic conversion of an IRF5-mediated silencing complex to that of an activating complex on promoters of target genes. These data provide the first evidence, to our knowledge, of a tightly controlled transcriptional mechanism whereby IRF5 regulates proinflammatory cytokine expression in conjunction with HATs and HDACs.
Genetic variants of the interferon (IFN) regulatory factor 5 (IRF5) gene are associated with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) susceptibility. The contribution of these variants to IRF-5 expression in primary blood cells of SLE patients has not been addressed, nor has the role of type I IFN. The aim of this study was to determine the association between increased IRF-5 expression and the IRF5 risk haplotype in SLE patients.
IRF-5 transcript and protein levels in 44 Swedish patients with SLE and 16 healthy controls were measured by quantitative real-time PCR, minigene assay, and flow cytometry. The rs2004640, rs10954213, rs10488631 and the CGGGG indel were genotyped in these patients. Genotypes of these polymorphisms defined a common risk and protective haplotype.
IRF-5 expression and alternative splicing were significantly upregulated in SLE patients versus healthy donors. Enhanced transcript and protein levels were associated with the risk haplotype of IRF5; rs10488631 gave the only significant independent association that correlated with increased transcription from non-coding exon 1C. Minigene experiments demonstrated an important role for rs2004640 and the CGGGG indel, along with type I IFNs in regulating IRF-5 expression.
This study provides the first formal proof that IRF-5 expression and alternative splicing are significantly upregulated in primary blood cells of SLE patients. The risk haplotype is associated with enhanced IRF-5 transcript and protein expression in SLE patients.
IRF5 is a member of the Interferon Regulatory Factor (IRF) family of transcription factors activated downstream of the Toll-Like receptors (TLRs). Polymorphisms in IRF5 have been shown to be associated with the autoimmune disease Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) and other autoimmune conditions, suggesting a central role for IRF5 in the regulation of the immune response. Four different IRF5 isoforms originate due to alternative splicing and to the presence or absence of a 30 nucleotide insertion in IRF5 exon 6. Since the polymorphic region disturbs a PEST domain, a region associated with protein degradation, we hypothesized that the isoforms bearing the insertion might have increased stability, thus explaining the association of individual IRF5 isoforms with SLE. As the E3 ubiquitin ligase TRIpartite Motif 21 (TRIM21) has been shown to regulate the stability and hence activity of members of the IRF family, we investigated whether IRF5 is subjected to regulation by TRIM21 and whether dysregulation of this mechanism could explain the association of IRF5 with SLE. Our results show that IRF5 is degraded following TLR7 activation and that TRIM21 is involved in this process. Comparison of the individual IRF5 variants demonstrates that isoforms generated by alternative splicing are resistant to TRIM21-mediated degradation following TLR7 stimulation, thus providing a functional link between isoforms expression and stability/activity which contributes to explain the association of IRF5 with SLE.
Following the successes of monoclonal antibody immunotherapies (trastuzumab (Herceptin®) and rituximab (Rituxan®)) and the first approved cancer vaccine, Provenge® (sipuleucel-T), investigations into the immune system and how it can be modified by a tumor has become an exciting and promising new field of cancer research. Dozens of clinical trials for new antibodies, cancer and adjuvant vaccines, and autologous T and dendritic cell transfers are ongoing in hopes of identifying ways to re-awaken the immune system and force an anti-tumor response. To date, however, few consistent, reproducible, or clinically-relevant effects have been shown using vaccine or autologous cell transfers due in part to the fact that the immunosuppressive mechanisms of the tumor have not been overcome. Much of the research focus has been on re-activating or priming cytotoxic T cells to recognize tumor, in some cases completely disregarding the potential roles that B cells play in immune surveillance or how a solid tumor should be treated to maximize immunogenicity. Here, we will summarize what is currently known about the induction or evasion of humoral immunity via tumor-induced cytokine/chemokine expression and how formation of tertiary lymphoid structures (TLS) within the tumor microenvironment may be used to enhance immunotherapy response.
tertiary lymphoid structure; CXCL13; germinal center; anti-tumor immunity; humoral immunity; B cells; T cells
Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) stimulates cell proliferation and is crucial for
maintenance of somatic tissues. However, this effect is associated with the inhibition of
FOXO transcription factors and downregulation of antioxidative enzymes. In this study, we
compared the responses of primary dermal fibroblasts and human umbilical vein endothelial
cells with IGF-1 treatment. We found that IGF-1 primarily downregulated enzymatic
antioxidants in skin fibroblasts. However, human umbilical vein endothelial cells were
protected from an IGF-1–mediated decrease in antioxidative capacity. Moreover, IGF-1
also activated endothelial nitric oxide synthase in human umbilical vein endothelial
cells. These observations suggest a dichotomous role for IGF-1, which provides for growth
and repair needs of the soma, while attenuating the effect of oxidative stress on the
vasculature by activating endothelial nitric oxide synthase. This increases the production
of nitric oxide, an antiproliferative and, under certain circumstances, an antioxidant
agent. Findings could help clarify the role of IGF-1 in aging and longevity of lower
organisms, short-lived mammals, and humans.
Insulin/IGF-1 signaling; Oxidative stress; Molecular biology of aging
Polymorphisms in the transcription factor interferon (IFN) regulatory factor 5 (IRF5) have been identified that show strong association with increased risk of developing the autoimmune disease systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). A potential pathologic role for IRF5 in SLE development is supported by the fact that increased IRF5 mRNA and protein abundance are observed in primary blood cells of SLE patients that correlate with increased risk of developing the disease. Here, we demonstrate that IRF5 is required for pristane-induced SLE via its ability to control multiple facets of autoimmunity. We show that IRF5 has a distinct influence on pathological hypergammaglobulinemia and provide evidence for its role in regulating IgG1 class switching and antigen specificity. Examination of in vivo cytokine expression (and autoantibody production) identified an imbalance in Irf5−/− mice favoring Th2 polarization. In addition, we provide clear evidence that loss of Irf5 significantly weakens the in vivo type I IFN signature critical for disease pathogenesis in this model of murine lupus. Together, these findings demonstrate the global effect that IRF5 has on autoimmunity and provides significant new insight into how overexpression of IRF5 in blood cells of SLE patients may contribute to disease pathogenesis.
interferon regulatory factor 5 (IRF5, IRF-5); systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE); autoantibody; type I interferon; Th2
Polymorphisms in the interferon regulatory factor 5 (IRF5) gene have been consistently replicated and shown to confer risk for or protection from the development of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). IRF5 expression is significantly upregulated in SLE patients and upregulation associates with IRF5-SLE risk haplotypes. IRF5 alternative splicing has also been shown to be elevated in SLE patients. Given that human IRF5 exists as multiple alternatively spliced transcripts with distinct function(s), it is important to determine whether the IRF5 transcript profile expressed in healthy donor immune cells is different from that expressed in SLE patients. Moreover, it is not currently known whether an IRF5-SLE risk haplotype defines the profile of IRF5 transcripts expressed. Using standard molecular cloning techniques, we identified and isolated 14 new differentially spliced IRF5 transcript variants from purified monocytes of healthy donors and SLE patients to generate an IRF5 variant transcriptome. Next-generation sequencing was then used to perform in-depth and quantitative analysis of full-length IRF5 transcript expression in primary immune cells of SLE patients and healthy donors by next-generation sequencing. Evidence for additional alternatively spliced transcripts was obtained from de novo junction discovery. Data from these studies support the overall complexity of IRF5 alternative splicing in SLE. Results from next-generation sequencing correlated with cloning and gave similar abundance rankings in SLE patients thus supporting the use of this new technology for in-depth single gene transcript profiling. Results from this study provide the first proof that 1) SLE patients express an IRF5 transcript signature that is distinct from healthy donors, 2) an IRF5-SLE risk haplotype defines the top four most abundant IRF5 transcripts expressed in SLE patients, and 3) an IRF5 transcript signature enables clustering of SLE patients with the H2 risk haplotype.
Patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and Sjögren’s syndrome (SS) display increased levels of type I interferon (IFN)-induced genes. Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (PDCs) are natural interferon producing cells and considered to be a primary source of IFN-α in these two diseases. Differential expression patterns of type I IFN-inducible transcripts can be found in different immune cell subsets and in patients with both active and inactive autoimmune disease. A type I IFN gene signature generally consists of three groups of IFN-induced genes – those regulated in response to virus-induced type I IFN, those regulated by the IFN-induced mitogen-activated protein kinase/extracellular-regulated kinase (MAPK/ERK) pathway, and those by the IFN-induced phosphoinositide-3 kinase (PI-3K) pathway. These three groups of type I IFN-regulated genes control important cellular processes such as apoptosis, survival, adhesion, and chemotaxis, that when dysregulated, contribute to autoimmunity. With the recent generation of large datasets in the public domain from next-generation sequencing and DNA microarray experiments, one can perform detailed analyses of cell-type specific gene signatures as well as identify distinct transcription factors (TFs) that differentially regulate these gene signatures. We have performed bioinformatics analysis of data in the public domain and experimental data from our lab to gain insight into the regulation of type I IFN gene expression. We have found that the genetic landscape of the IFNA and IFNB genes are occupied by TFs, such as insulators CTCF and cohesin, that negatively regulate transcription, as well as interferon regulatory factor (IRF)5 and IRF7, that positively and distinctly regulate IFNA subtypes. A detailed understanding of the factors controlling type I IFN gene transcription will significantly aid in the identification and development of new therapeutic strategies targeting the IFN pathway in autoimmune disease.
type I interferons; bioinformatics; autoimmunity; transcriptional regulation; transcription; genetic
New signaling pathways of the interleukin (IL) family, interferons (IFN) and interferon regulatory factors (IRF) have recently been found within tumor microenvironments and in metastatic sites. Some of these cytokines stimulate while others inhibit breast cancer proliferation and/or invasion. IRFs, a family of nine mammalian transcription factors, have multiple biologic functions that when dysregulated may contribute to tumorigenesis; most well-known are their roles in regulating/initiating host immunity. Some IRF family members have been implicated in tumorigenesis yet little is still known of their expression in primary human tumors or their role(s) in disease development/progression. IRF5 is one of the newer family members to be studied and has been shown to be a critical mediator of host immunity and the cellular response to DNA damage. Here, we examined the expression of IRF5 in primary breast tissue and determined how loss of expression may contribute to breast cancer development and/or progression.
Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded archival breast tissue specimens from patients with atypical ductal hyperplasia (ADH), ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) were examined for their expression of IRF1 and IRF5. Knockdown or overexpression of IRF5 in MCF-10A, MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 mammary epithelial cell lines was used to examine the role of IRF5 in growth inhibition, invasion and tumorigenesis.
Analysis of IRF expression in human breast tissues revealed the unique down-regulation of IRF5 in patients with different grades of DCIS and IDC as compared to IRF1; loss of IRF5 preceded that of IRF1 and correlated with increased invasiveness. Overexpression of IRF5 in breast cancer cells inhibited in vitro and in vivo cell growth and sensitized them to DNA damage. Complementary experiments with IRF5 siRNAs made normal mammary epithelial cells resistant to DNA damage. By 3-D culture, IRF5 overexpression reverted MDA-MB-231 to normal acini-like structures; cells overexpressing IRF5 had decreased CXCR4 expression and were insensitive to SDF-1/CXCL12-induced migration. These findings were confirmed by CXCR4 promoter reporter assays.
IRF5 is an important tumor suppressor that regulates multiple cellular processes involved in the conversion of normal mammary epithelial cells to tumor epithelial cells with metastatic potential.
Toll–IL-1–resistance (TIR) domain–containing adaptor-inducing IFN-β (TRIF)–related adaptor molecule (TRAM) is the fourth TIR domain–containing adaptor protein to be described that participates in Toll receptor signaling. Like TRIF, TRAM activates interferon regulatory factor (IRF)-3, IRF-7, and NF-κB-dependent signaling pathways. Toll-like receptor (TLR)3 and 4 activate these pathways to induce IFN-α/β, regulated on activation, normal T cell expressed and secreted (RANTES), and γ interferon–inducible protein 10 (IP-10) expression independently of the adaptor protein myeloid differentiation factor 88 (MyD88). Dominant negative and siRNA studies performed here demonstrate that TRIF functions downstream of both the TLR3 (dsRNA) and TLR4 (LPS) signaling pathways, whereas the function of TRAM is restricted to the TLR4 pathway. TRAM interacts with TRIF, MyD88 adaptor–like protein (Mal)/TIRAP, and TLR4 but not with TLR3. These studies suggest that TRIF and TRAM both function in LPS-TLR4 signaling to regulate the MyD88-independent pathway during the innate immune response to LPS.
innate immunity; endotoxin; interferon; signal transduction; host defense
Transcription factors of the interferon regulatory factor (IRF) family have been identified as critical mediators of early inflammatory gene transcription in infected cells. We recently determined that, besides IRF-3 and IRF-7, IRF-5 serves as a direct transducer of virus-mediated signaling. In contrast to that mediated by the other two IRFs, IRF-5-mediated activation is virus specific. We show that, in addition to Newcastle disease virus (NDV) infection, vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) and herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) infection activates IRF-5, leading to the induction of IFNA gene subtypes that are distinct from subtypes induced by NDV. The IRF-5-mediated stimulation of inflammatory genes is not limited to IFNA since in BJAB/IRF-5-expressing cells IRF-5 stimulates transcription of RANTES, macrophage inflammatory protein 1β, monocyte chemotactic protein 1, interleukin-8, and I-309 genes in a virus-specific manner. By transient- transfection assay, we identified constitutive-activation (amino acids [aa] 410 to 489) and autoinhibitory (aa 490 to 539) domains in the IRF-5 polypeptide. We identified functional nuclear localization signals (NLS) in the amino and carboxyl termini of IRF-5 and showed that both of these NLS are sufficient for nuclear translocation and retention in infected cells. Furthermore, we demonstrated that serine residues 477 and 480 play critical roles in the response to NDV infection. Mutation of these residues from serine to alanine dramatically decreased phosphorylation and resulted in a substantial loss of IRF-5 transactivation in infected cells. Thus, this study defines the regulatory phosphorylation sites that control the activity of IRF-5 in NDV-infected cells and provides further insight into the structure and function of IRF-5. It also shows that the range of IRF-5 immunoregulatory target genes includes members of the cytokine and chemokine superfamilies.