Inhibition of TLR4-Induced I kappa B Kinase Activity by the RON Receptor Tyrosine Kinase and Its Ligand, Macrophage-Stimulating Protein

Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Science, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA.
The Journal of Immunology (Impact Factor: 5.36). 11/2010; 185(12):7309-16. DOI: 10.4049/jimmunol.1000095
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The RON receptor tyrosine kinase regulates the balance between classical (M1) and alternative (M2) macrophage activation. In primary macrophages, the ligand for Ron, macrophage-stimulating protein (MSP), inhibits the expression of inducible NO synthase, a marker of classically activated macrophages, whereas promoting the expression of arginase I, a marker of alternative activation. Ron(-/-) mice express increased levels of IL-12, a product of classically activated macrophages, after endotoxin administration, resulting in increased serum IFN-γ levels and enhanced susceptibility to septic shock. In this study, we demonstrate that MSP inhibits LPS-induced IL-12p40 expression, and this inhibition is dependent on the docking site tyrosines in Ron. To further define this inhibition, we examined the effect of Ron on signaling pathways downstream of Ron. We found that MSP does not inhibit the MyD88-independent activation of IFN regulatory factor 3 and production of IFN-β in response to LPS, nor does it inhibit MyD88-dependent TGF-β-activated kinase phosphorylation or MAPK activation in primary macrophages. However, the induction of IκB kinase activity, IκB degradation, and DNA binding of NF-κB after LPS stimulation is delayed in the presence of MSP. In addition, Ron inhibits serine phosphorylation of p65 and NF-κB transcriptional activity induced by LPS stimulation of TLR4. Finally, MSP inhibits the NF-κB-dependent upregulation of the nuclear IκB family member, IκBζ, a positive regulator of secondary response genes including IL-12p40. LPS also induces expression of Ron and an N-terminally truncated form of Ron, Sf-Ron, in primary macrophages, suggesting that the upregulation of Ron by LPS could provide classical feedback regulation of TLR signaling.

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    ABSTRACT: Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are chronic inflammatory disorders of the intestine that result in painful and debilitating complications. Currently no cure exists for IBD and treatments are primarily aimed at reducing inflammation to alleviate symptoms. Genome-wide linkage studies have identified the Ron receptor tyrosine kinase and its ligand, hepatocyte growth factor-like protein (HGFL), as genes highly associated with IBD. However, only scant information exists on the role of Ron or HGFL in IBD. Based on the linkage of Ron to IBD, we directly examined the biological role of Ron in colitis. Wild type mice and mice lacking the tyrosine kinase signaling domain of Ron (TK-/- mice) were utilized in a well-characterized model of chronic colitis induced by cyclic exposure to dextran sulfate sodium. In this model, TK-/- mice were more susceptible to injury as judged by increased mortality compared to control mice and developed more severe colitis. Loss of Ron led to significantly reduced body weights and more aggressive clinical and histopathologies. Ron loss also resulted in a dramatic reduction in colonic epithelial cell proliferation and increased proinflammatory cytokine production, which was associated with alterations in important signaling pathways known to regulate IBD. Examination of human gene expression data further supports the contention that loss of Ron signaling is associated with IBD. In total, our studies point to important functional roles for Ron in IBD by regulating healing of the colonic epithelium and by controlling cytokine secretion.
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