Elizabeth A Jones

Yale University, New Haven, CT, United States

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Publications (2)15.33 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Engagement of Toll-like receptors (TLRs) on macrophages leads to activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), which contribute to innate immune responses. MAPK activity is regulated negatively by MAPK phosphatases (MKPs). MKP-1, the founding member of this family of dual-specificity phosphatases, has been implicated in regulating lipopolysaccharide (LPS) responses, but its role in TLR-mediated immune responses in vivo has not been defined. Here, we show that mice deficient in MKP-1 were highly susceptible to endotoxic shock in vivo, associated with enhanced production of proinflammatory cytokines TNF-alpha and IL-6 and an anti-inflammatory cytokine, IL-10. We further examined the regulation and function of MKP-1 in macrophages, a major cell type involved in endotoxic shock. MKP-1 was transiently induced by TLR stimulation through pathways mediated by both myeloid differentiation factor 88 (MyD88) and TIR domain-containing adaptor inducing IFN-beta (TRIF). MKP-1 deficiency led to sustained activation of p38 MAPK and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) in LPS-treated macrophages. In response to TLR signals, MKP-1-deficient macrophages produced 5- to 10-fold higher IL-10, which could be blocked by a p38 MAPK inhibitor. Thus, p38 MAPK plays a critical role in mediating IL-10 synthesis in TLR signaling. TNF-alpha was found to be more abundant in MKP-1-deficient macrophages within 2 hours of TLR stimulation, but its production was rapidly down-regulated by IL-10. Our studies demonstrate that MKP-1 attenuates the activities of p38 MAPK and JNK to regulate both pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines in TLR signaling. These results highlight the complex mechanisms by which the MAPKs regulate innate immunity.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 03/2006; 103(7):2274-9. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    Elizabeth A Jones, Richard A Flavell
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    ABSTRACT: The IL-10 gene and homologs IL-19, IL-20, and IL-24 are expressed within a highly conserved 145-kb cytokine gene cluster. Like the Th2 IL-4 cytokine gene cluster, it is feasible that there is coordinate regulation of these cytokines by distal regulatory elements spanning the locus. We initiated a search to characterize regulatory elements within the IL-10 family locus and present data herein on a conserved 40-kb region between the IL-19 and IL-10 genes. We map the location of 17 DNase I-hypersensitive sites in different murine T cell populations and identify three enhancer elements, which function in T cells in vitro. Two of these enhancer elements, located 9 kb upstream and 6.45 kb downstream of IL-10, display cell-specific function in the Th1-Th2 cell clones AE7 and D10 and also exhibit basic promoter activity. The downstream element, IL-10CNS+6.45, binds AP-1 in the absence of NFAT and expresses intergenic RNA in a Th2-specific manner, further validating its role as a Th2-specific enhancer/promoter element. We show that the five most highly conserved noncoding sequences in the 40-kb region transcribe intergenic RNA; four of these regions possess promoter activity in vitro that could account for the expression of these transcripts. Hence, we speculate that these novel regulatory elements in the IL-10 family gene locus function via an intermediate regulatory RNA.
    The Journal of Immunology 01/2006; 175(11):7437-46. · 5.52 Impact Factor