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J Leukoc Biol. 2016 Sep;100(3):525-33. doi: 10.1189/jlb.2A0815-337R. Epub 2016 Mar 8.

TLR9 stability and signaling are regulated by phosphorylation and cell stress.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA.
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA


Innate sensing of pathogens elicits protective immune responses through pattern recognition receptors, including Toll-like receptors. Although signaling by Toll-like receptors is regulated at multiple steps, including localization, trafficking, proteolytic cleavage, and phosphorylation, the significance of post-translational modifications and cellular stress response on Toll-like receptor stability and signaling is still largely unknown. In the present study, we investigated the role of cytoplasmic tyrosine motifs in Toll-like receptor-9 stability, proteolytic cleavage, and signaling. We demonstrated that tyrosine phosphorylation is essential for mouse Toll-like receptor-9 protein stability and signaling. Upon inhibition of tyrosine kinases with piceatannol, Toll-like receptor-9 tyrosine phosphorylation induced by CpG deoxyribonucleic acid was inhibited, which correlated with decreased signaling. Furthermore, inhibition of Src kinases with 1-tert-Butyl-3-(4-chlorophenyl)-1H-pyrazolo[3,4-d]pyrimidin-4-amine also inhibited response to CpG deoxyribonucleic acid. Toll-like receptor-9 protein stability was also sensitive to autophagy, the cellular stress response pathway, and infection by a deoxyribonucleic acid virus. Whereas autophagy induced by rapamycin or low serum levels caused a preferential loss of the mature p80 proteolytic cleavage product, infection with herpes simplex virus-1 and induction of cell stress with tunicamycin caused preferential loss of full-length Toll-like receptor-9, which is localized to the endoplasmic reticulum. Our data reveal new information about the stability and signaling of Toll-like receptor-9 and suggest that immune evasion mechanisms may involve targeted loss of innate sensing receptors.


CpG DNA; autophagy; inflammation; innate immunity

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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