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J Biol Chem. 2018 Jul 6;293(27):10425-10434. doi: 10.1074/jbc.AC118.001720. Epub 2018 Apr 17.

A malaria protein factor induces IL-4 production by dendritic cells via PI3K-Akt-NF-κB signaling independent of MyD88/TRIF and promotes Th2 response.

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From the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and.
the Department of Pharmacology and the Institute for Personalized Medicine, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania 17033.
From the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and


Dendritic cells (DC) and cytokines produced by DC play crucial roles in inducing and regulating pro-/anti-inflammatory and Th1/Th2 responses. DC are known to produce a Th1-promoting cytokine, interleukin (IL)-12, in response to malaria and other pathogenic infections, but it is thought that DC do not produce Th2-promoting cytokine, IL-4. Here, we show that a protein factor of malaria parasites induces IL-4 responses by CD11chiMHCIIhiCD3ϵ-CD49b-CD19-FcϵRI- DC via PI3K-Akt-NF-κB signaling independent of TLR-MyD88/TRIF. Malaria parasite-activated DC induced IL-4 responses by T cells both in vitro and in vivo, favoring Th2, and il-4-deficient DC were unable to induce IL-4 expression by T cells. Interestingly, lethal parasites, Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium berghei ANKA, induced IL-4 response primarily by CD8α- DC, whereas nonlethal Plasmodium yoelii induced IL-4 by both CD8α+ and CD8α- DC. In both P. berghei ANKA- and P. yoelii-infected mice, IL-4-expressing CD8α- DC did not express IL-12, but a distinct CD8α- DC subset expressed IL-12. In P. berghei ANKA infection, CD8α+ DC expressed IL-12 but not IL-4, whereas in P. yoelii infection, CD8α+ DC expressed IL-4 but not IL-12. These differential IL-4 and IL-12 responses by DC subsets may contribute to different Th1/Th2 development and clinical outcomes in lethal and nonlethal malaria. Our results for the first time demonstrate that a malaria protein factor induces IL-4 production by DC via PI3K-Akt-NF-κB signaling, revealing signaling and molecular mechanisms that initiate and promote Th2 development.


IL-4 production; PI3K-Akt-NF-kB; Toll-like receptor (TLR); dendritic cell; interleukin; malaria; protein complex; protein factor; signaling; signaling mechanism

[Available on 2019-07-06]

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