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Mediators Inflamm. 2017;2017:1248201. doi: 10.1155/2017/1248201. Epub 2017 Feb 21.

ZNF395 Is an Activator of a Subset of IFN-Stimulated Genes.

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Institute of Virology, University of Cologne, Fürst-Pückler-Strasse 56, 50935 Cologne, Germany.


Activation of the interferon (IFN) pathway in response to infection with pathogens results in the induction of IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs) including proinflammatory cytokines, which mount the proper antiviral immune response. However, aberrant expression of these genes is pathogenic to the host. In addition to IFN-induced transcription factors non-IFN-regulated factors contribute to the transcriptional control of ISGs. Here, we show by genome wide expression analysis, siRNA-mediated suppression and Doxycycline-induced overexpression that the cellular transcription factor ZNF395 activates a subset of ISGs including the chemokines CXCL10 and CXCL11 in keratinocytes. We found that ZNF395 acts independently of IFN but enhances the IFN-induced expression of CXCL10 and CXCL11. Luciferase reporter assays revealed a requirement of intact NFκB-binding sites for ZNF395 to stimulate the CXCL10 promoter. The transcriptional activation of CXCL10 and CXCL11 by ZNF395 was abolished after inhibition of IKK by BMS-345541, which increased the stability of ZNF395. ZNF395 encodes at least two motifs that mediate the enhanced degradation of ZNF395 in response to IKK activation. Thus, IKK is required for ZNF395-mediated activation of transcription and enhances its turn-over to keep the activity of ZNF395 low. Our results support a previously unrecognized role of ZNF395 in the innate immune response and inflammation.

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