ABSTRACT: In innate immunity, microbial components stimulate macrophages to produce antimicrobial substances, cytokines, other proinflammatory mediators, and IFNs via TLRs, which trigger signaling pathways activating NF-kappaB, MAPKs, and IFN response factors. We show in this study that, in contrast to its activating role in T cells, in macrophages the protein phosphatase calcineurin negatively regulates NF-kappaB, MAPKs, and IFN response factor activation by inhibiting the TLR-mediated signaling pathways. Evidence for this novel role for calcineurin was provided by the findings that these signaling pathways are activated when calcineurin is inhibited either by the inhibitors cyclosporin A or FK506 or by small interfering RNA-targeting calcineurin, and that activation of these pathways by TLR ligands is inhibited by the overexpression of a constitutively active form of calcineurin. We further found that IkappaB-alpha degradation, MAPK activation, and TNF-alpha production by FK506 were reduced in macrophages from mice deficient in MyD88, Toll/IL-1R domain-containing adaptor-inducing IFN-beta (TRIF), TLR2, or TLR4, whereas macrophages from TLR3-deficient or TLR9 mutant mice showed the same responses to FK506 as those of wild-type cells. Biochemical studies indicate that calcineurin interacts with MyD88, TRIF, TLR2, and TLR4, but not with TLR3 or TLR9. Collectively, these results suggest that calcineurin negatively regulates TLR-mediated activation pathways in macrophages by inhibiting the adaptor proteins MyD88 and TRIF, and a subset of TLRs.
The Journal of Immunology 11/2007; 179(7):4598-607. · 5.79 Impact Factor