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Eur J Immunol. 2007 Feb;37(2):528-39.

Involvement of TBK1 and IKKepsilon in lipopolysaccharide-induced activation of the interferon response in primary human macrophages.

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Terry Fox Molecular Oncology Group, Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, Montreal, QE, Canada.


Interferon (IFN) is an important effector of the innate immune response, induced by different viral or bacterial components through Toll-like receptor-dependent and -independent mechanisms. In human macrophages and macrophage-activated killer cells, we demonstrate that (i) the type I IFN response to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is weak compared to the host response to virus infection; (ii) there is a temporal difference in the induction of tank-binding kinase-1 (TBK1) and IkappaB kinase (IKK)-related kinase epsilon (IKKepsilon) kinase activities in response to LPS, with TBK1 activated early and IKKepsilon induced in the late phase of IFN induction; and (iii) interferon regulatory factor (IRF)-7 is induced following LPS treatment, but there is no evidence that IRF-7 becomes activated by phosphorylation in vivo. Specifically, TBK1 kinase activity is rapidly increased after LPS stimulation (15 min) whereas IKKepsilon activation occurs at 8 h. RNA interference-mediated inhibition of TBK1 and IKKepsilon expression in macrophages interfere with IFNB and IRF7 gene expression following LPS activation. Macrophage priming with rIFN-alpha increased IRF-7 expression, led to a sharp up-regulation of the IFNB gene and to a rapid induction of IFNA2 upon LPS stimulation. These data support a differential role of TBK1 and IKKepsilon in the downstream response mediated by IRF-3 and IRF-7 to LPS in primary human macrophages.

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