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Mucosal Immunol. 2011 May;4(3):314-24. doi: 10.1038/mi.2010.69. Epub 2010 Oct 20.

The ubiquitin ligase adaptor Ndfip1 regulates T cell-mediated gastrointestinal inflammation and inflammatory bowel disease susceptibility.

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  • 1University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.


Nedd4 family interacting protein 1 (Ndfip1) is an adaptor protein that regulates Itch, an E3 ubiquitin ligase that ubiquitylates JunB, thereby preventing interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-5 production. Mice lacking Ndfip1 or Itch develop T helper type 2 (T(H)2)-mediated inflammation in the skin and lungs and die prematurely. In this study we show that Ndfip1-/- mice also develop inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. Inflammation is characterized by infiltration of eosinophils and T cells and is accompanied by a failure to gain weight. T cells are both necessary and sufficient for eosinophil recruitment and inflammation. This is because Ndfip1-/- T cells become activated and produce IL-5. Itch mutant mice develop much less severe gastrointestinal inflammation, suggesting that Ndfip1 regulation of Itch cannot entirely account for this phenotype and that Ndfip1 has both Itch-dependent and Itch-independent roles. Ndfip1 may also regulate human disease. We found single-nucleotide polymorphisms in the Ndfip1 locus that associate with inflammatory bowel disease. Taken together, our data support a role for Ndfip1 in gastrointestinal inflammation in both mice and humans.

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