Bruton's Tyrosine Kinase Regulates TLR9 but not TLR7 Signaling in Human pDCs

Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) can be activated by the endosomal TLRs, and contribute to the pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) by producing type I IFNs. Thus, blocking TLR-mediated pDC activation may represent a useful approach for the treatment of SLE. In an attempt to identify a therapeutic target for blocking TLR signaling in pDCs, we investigated the contribution of Bruton's tyrosine kinase (Btk) to the activation of pDCs by TLR7 and TLR9 stimulation by using a selective Btk inhibitor RN486. Stimulation of TLR7 and 9 with their respective agonist, namely, gardiquimod and type A CpG ODN2216, resulted in the activation of human pDCs, as demonstrated by the expression of activation markers (CD69, CD40, and CD86), elevated production of IFN-alpha and other inflammatory cytokines, as well as up-regulation of numerous genes including IFN-alpha-inducible genes and activation of interferon regulatory factor 7 (IRF7) and NF-kB. RN486 inhibited all of these events induced by TLR9, but not TLR7 stimulation, with a nanomolar potency for inhibiting type A CpG ODN2216-mediated production of cytokines (e.g., IC50=386 nM for inhibiting IFN-alpha). Our data reveal Btk as an important regulatory enzyme in the TLR9 pathway, and a potential therapeutic target for SLE and other TLR-driven diseases.

keywords: NCBI GEO expression profiling by array

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Kai Lau
Hoffmann-La Roche
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