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Cell Rep. 2014 Sep 11;8(5):1308-17. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2014.07.034. Epub 2014 Aug 21.

IRF5:RelA interaction targets inflammatory genes in macrophages.

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Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, University of Oxford, Roosevelt Drive, Oxford OX37FY, UK.
CGAT, MRC Functional Genomics Unit, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX13PT, UK.
Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford, Roosevelt Drive, Oxford OX3 7BN, UK.
Institute for Genetics, University of Cologne, Joseph-Stelzmann-Strasse 26, Cologne 50931, Germany.
Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, University of Oxford, Roosevelt Drive, Oxford OX37FY, UK. Electronic address:


Interferon Regulatory Factor 5 (IRF5) plays a major role in setting up an inflammatory macrophage phenotype, but the molecular basis of its transcriptional activity is not fully understood. In this study, we conduct a comprehensive genome-wide analysis of IRF5 recruitment in macrophages stimulated with bacterial lipopolysaccharide and discover that IRF5 binds to regulatory elements of highly transcribed genes. Analysis of protein:DNA microarrays demonstrates that IRF5 recognizes the canonical IRF-binding (interferon-stimulated response element [ISRE]) motif in vitro. However, IRF5 binding in vivo appears to rely on its interactions with other proteins. IRF5 binds to a noncanonical composite PU.1:ISRE motif, and its recruitment is aided by RelA. Global gene expression analysis in macrophages deficient in IRF5 and RelA highlights the direct role of the RelA:IRF5 cistrome in regulation of a subset of key inflammatory genes. We map the RelA:IRF5 interaction domain and suggest that interfering with it would offer selective targeting of macrophage inflammatory activities.

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