Chicken interferon consensus sequence-binding protein (ICSBP) and interferon regulatory factor (IRF) 1 genes reveal evolutionary conservation in the IRF gene family.
ABSTRACT: Members of the IRF family mediate transcriptional responses to interferons (IFNs) and to virus infection. So far, proteins of this family have been studied only among mammalian species. Here we report the isolation of cDNA clones encoding two members of this family from chicken, interferon consensus sequence-binding protein (ICSBP) and IRF-1. The predicted chicken ICSBP and IRF-1 proteins show high levels of sequence similarity to their corresponding human and mouse counterparts. Sequence identities in the putative DNA-binding domains of chicken and human ICSBP and IRF-1 were 97% and 89%, respectively, whereas the C-terminal regions showed identities of 64% and 51%; sequence relationships with mouse ICSBP and IRF-1 are very similar. Chicken ICSBP was found to be expressed in several embryonic tissues, and both chicken IRF-1 and ICSBP were strongly induced in chicken fibroblasts by IFN treatment, supporting the involvement of these factors in IFN-regulated gene expression. The presence of proteins homologous to mammalian IRF family members, together with earlier observations on the occurrence of functionally homologous IFN-responsive elements in chicken and mammalian genes, highlights the conservation of transcriptional mechanisms in the IFN system, a finding that contrasts with the extensive sequence and functional divergence of the IFNs.
Project description:Interferon (IFN) regulatory factors (IRFs) are a family of transcription factors among which are IRF-1, IRF-2, and IFN consensus sequence binding protein (ICSBP). These factors share sequence homology in the N-terminal DNA-binding domain. IRF-1 and IRF-2 are further related and have additional homologous sequences within their C-termini. Whereas IRF-2 and ICSBP are identified as transcriptional repressors, IRF-1 is an activator. In the present work, the identification of functional domains in murine IRF-1 with regard to DNA-binding, nuclear translocation, heterodimerization with ICSBP and transcriptional activation are demonstrated. The minimal DNA-binding domain requires the N-terminal 124 amino acids plus an arbitrary C-terminal extension. By using mutants of IRF-1 fusion proteins with green fluorescent protein and monitoring their distribution in living cells, a nuclear location signal (NLS) was identified and found to be sufficient for nuclear translocation. Heterodimerization was confirmed by a two-hybrid system adapted to mammalian cells. The heterodimerization domain in IRF-1 was defined by studies in vitro and was shown to be homologous with a sequence in IRF-2, suggesting that IRF-2 also heterodimerizes with ICSBP through this sequence. An acidic domain in IRF-1 was found to be required and to be sufficient for transactivation. Epitope mapping of IRF-1 showed that regions within the NLS, the heterodimerization domain and the transcriptional activation domain are exposed for possible contacts with interacting proteins.
Project description:In mammals, some of the effects of interferon (IFN) on gene transcription are known to be mediated by a family of IFN-inducible DNA-binding proteins, the IFN regulatory factor (IRF) family, which includes both activators and repressors of transcription. Although IFN activities have been described in many vertebrates, little is known about regulation of IFN- or IFN-stimulated genes in species other than human and mouse. Here, we report the cloning of a chicken cDNA, cIRF-3, encoding a protein with a DNA-binding domain similar to that found in the mammalian IRF family of proteins. Similarity between cIRF-3 and the mammalian IRFs is comparable with that between known members of the family. It is most similar to the IRF proteins ICSBP and ISGF3 gamma but is equally divergent from both. Gel mobility shift assays indicate that cIRF-3 is capable of binding a known IFN-stimulated response element that is conserved between the mammalian and chicken Mx genes. Expression of the cIRF-3 gene can be induced to high levels by poly(I).poly(C). Induction is rapid and transient with no requirement for protein synthesis. Co-treatment of cells with cycloheximide results in superinduction of cIRF-3 mRNA. The structural and regulatory characteristics of cIRF-3 indicate that it is the first example of a non-mammalian IRF protein.
Project description:Interferons (IFNs) induce transcription of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I genes through the conserved IFN consensus sequence (ICS) that contains an IFN response motif shared by many IFN-regulated genes. By screening mouse lambda ZAP expression libraries with the ICS as a probe, we isolated a cDNA clone encoding a protein that binds the ICS, designated ICSBP. Protein blot analysis with labeled oligonucleotide probes showed that ICSBP binds not only the MHC class I ICS but also IFN response motifs of many IFN-regulated genes, as well as a virus-inducible element of the IFN-beta gene. The ICSBP cDNA encodes 424 amino acids and a long 3' untranslated sequence. The N-terminal 115 amino acids correspond to a putative DNA-binding domain and show significant sequence similarity with other cloned IFN response factors (IRF-1 and IRF-2). Because of the structural similarity and shared binding specificity, we conclude that ICSBP is a third member of the IRF gene family, presumably playing a role in IFN- and virus-mediated regulation of many genes. Although IRF-1 and IRF-2 share some similarity in their C-terminal regions, ICSBP shows no similarity to IRF-1 or IRF-2 in this region, suggesting that it is more distantly related. We show that ICSBP mRNA is expressed predominantly in lymphoid tissues and is inducible preferentially by IFN-gamma. The induction by IFN-gamma appears to be predominant in lymphocytes and macrophages, implying that ICSBP plays a regulatory role in cells of the immune system. The presence of multiple factors that bind common IFN response motifs may partly account for the complexity and diversity of IFN action as well as IFN-regulated gene expression.
Project description:ICSBP (IRF-8) is a transcription factor of the IRF family expressed only in the immune system. It is induced in macrophages by gamma interferon (IFN-gamma) and contributes to macrophage functions. By interacting with Ets family protein PU.1, ICSBP binds to the IRF/Ets composite element and stimulates transcription. ICSBP binds to another DNA element, the IFN-stimulated response element (ISRE), a common target of the IRF family. Limited knowledge as to how ICSBP and other IRF proteins regulate ISRE-dependent transcription in IFN-gamma-activated macrophages is available. By mass-spectrometric analysis of ISRE-bound proteins in macrophages, we identified TEL, another Ets member, as a factor recruited to the element in an IFN-gamma-dependent manner. In vitro analysis with recombinant proteins indicated that this recruitment is due to a direct interaction between ICSBP and TEL, which is enhanced by the presence of ISRE. Significantly, the interaction with TEL in turn resulted in the recruitment of the histone deacetytase HDAC3 to the ISRE, causing increased repression of IFN-gamma-mediated reporter activity through the ISRE. This repression may provide a negative-feedback mechanism operating after the initial transcriptional activation by IFN-gamma. By associating with two different Ets family proteins, ICSBP exerts a dual function in IFN-gamma-dependent gene regulation in an immune system-specific manner.
Project description:Interferon-regulatory factors (IRFs) are a family of transcription factors (TFs) that translate viral recognition into antiviral responses, including type I interferon (IFN) production. Dengue virus (DENV) and other clinically important flaviviruses are suppressed by type I IFN. While mice lacking the type I IFN receptor (Ifnar1-/-) succumb to DENV infection, we found that mice deficient in three transcription factors controlling type I IFN production (Irf3-/-Irf5-/-Irf7-/- triple knockout [TKO]) survive DENV challenge. DENV infection of TKO mice resulted in minimal type I IFN production but a robust type II IFN (IFN-?) response. Using loss-of-function approaches for various molecules, we demonstrate that the IRF-3-, IRF-5-, IRF-7-independent pathway predominantly utilizes IFN-? and, to a lesser degree, type I IFNs. This pathway signals via IRF-1 to stimulate interleukin-12 (IL-12) production and IFN-? response. These results reveal a key antiviral role for IRF-1 by activating both type I and II IFN responses during DENV infection.
Project description:There is a debate on whether invertebrates possess an antiviral immunity similar to the interferon (IFN) system of vertebrates. The Vago gene from arthropods encodes a viral-activated secreted peptide that restricts virus infection through activating the JAK-STAT pathway and is considered to be a cytokine functionally similar to IFN. In this study, the first crustacean IFN regulatory factor (IRF)-like gene was identified in Pacific white shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei. The L. vannamei IRF showed similar protein nature to mammalian IRFs and could be activated during virus infection. As a transcriptional regulatory factor, L. vannamei IRF could activate the IFN-stimulated response element (ISRE)-containing promoter to regulate the expression of mammalian type I IFNs and initiate an antiviral state in mammalian cells. More importantly, IRF could bind the 5'-untranslated region of L. vannamei Vago4 gene and activate its transcription, suggesting that shrimp Vago may be induced in a similar manner to that of IFNs and supporting the opinion that Vago might function as an IFN-like molecule in invertebrates. These suggested that shrimp might possess an IRF-Vago-JAK/STAT regulatory axis, which is similar to the IRF-IFN-JAK/STAT axis of vertebrates, indicating that invertebrates might possess an IFN system-like antiviral mechanism.
Project description:Interferon regulatory factors (IRFs) are a family of transcription factors involved in the regulation of the interferons (IFNs) and other genes that may have an essential role in antiviral defense in the central nervous system, although this is currently not well defined. Therefore, we examined the regulation of IRF gene expression in the brain during viral infection. Several IRF genes (IRF-2, -3, -5, -7, and -9) were expressed at low levels in the brain of uninfected mice. Following intracranial infection with lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV), expression of the IRF-7 and IRF-9 genes increased significantly by day 2. IRF-7 and IRF-9 gene expression in the brain was widespread at sites of LCMV infection, with the highest levels in infiltrating mononuclear cells, microglia/macrophages, and neurons. IRF-7 and IRF-9 gene expression was increased in LCMV-infected brain from IFN-gamma knockout (KO) but not IFN-alpha/betaR KO animals. In the brain, spleen, and liver or cultured glial and spleen cells, IRF-7 but not IRF-9 gene expression increased with delayed kinetics in the absence of STAT1 but not STAT2 following LCMV infection or IFN-alpha treatment, respectively. The stimulation of IRF-7 gene expression by IFN-alpha in glial cell culture was prevented by cycloheximide. Thus, (i) many of the IRF genes were expressed constitutively in the mouse brain; (ii) the IRF-7 and IRF-9 genes were upregulated during viral infection, a process dependent on IFN-alpha/beta but not IFN-gamma; and (iii) IRF-7 but not IRF-9 gene expression can be stimulated in a STAT1-independent but STAT2-dependent fashion via unidentified indirect pathways coupled to the activation of the IFN-alpha/beta receptor.
Project description:We have isolated a novel cDNA clone encoding interferon (IFN) consensus sequence-binding protein in adult T-cell leukemia cell line or activated T cells (ICSAT); this protein is the human homolog of the recently cloned Pip/LSIRF. ICSAT is structurally most closely related to the previously cloned ICSBP, a member of the IFN regulatory factor (IRF) family of proteins that binds to interferon consensus sequences (ICSs) found in many promoters of the IFN-regulated genes. Among T-cell lines investigated, ICSAT was abundantly expressed in human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1)-infected T cells. When the HTLV-1 tax gene was expressed or phorbol myristake acetate-A23187 stimulation was used, ICSAT expression was induced in Jurkat cells which otherwise do not express ICSAT. When the binding of ICSAT to four different ICSs was tested, the relative differences in binding affinities for those ICSs were determined. To study the functional role of ICSAT, we performed cotransfection experiments with the human embryonal carcinoma cell line N-Tera2. ICSAT was demonstrated to possess repressive function over the gene activation induced by IFN stimulation or by IRF-1 cotransfection. Such repressive function is similar to that seen in IRF-2 or ICSBP. However, we have found that ICSAT has a different repressive effect from that of IRF-2 or ICSBP in some IFN-responsive reporter constructs. These results suggest that a novel mechanism of gene regulation by "differential repression" is used by multiple members of repressor proteins with different repressive effects on the IFN-responsive genes.
Project description:Interferon regulatory factors (IRFs) are a family of homologous proteins that regulate the transcription of interferons (IFNs) and IFN-induced gene expression. As such they are important modulating proteins in the Toll-like receptor (TLR) and IFN signaling pathways, which are vital elements of the innate immune system. IRFs have a multi-domain structure, with the N-terminal part acting as a DNA binding domain (DBD) that recognizes a DNA-binding motif similar to the IFN-stimulated response element (ISRE). The C-terminal part contains the IRF-association domain (IAD), with which they can self-associate, bind to IRF family members or interact with other transcription factors. This complex formation is crucial for DNA binding and the commencing of target-gene expression. IRFs bind DNA and exert their activating potential as homo or heterodimers with other IRFs. Moreover, they can form complexes (e.g., with Signal transducers and activators of transcription, STATs) and collaborate with other co-acting transcription factors such as Nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) and PU.1. In time, more of these IRF co-activating mechanisms have been discovered, which may play a key role in the pathogenesis of many diseases, such as acute and chronic inflammation, autoimmune diseases, and cancer. Detailed knowledge of IRFs structure and activating mechanisms predisposes IRFs as potential targets for inhibition in therapeutic strategies connected to numerous immune system-originated diseases. Until now only indirect IRF modulation has been studied in terms of antiviral response regulation and cancer treatment, using mainly antisense oligonucleotides and siRNA knockdown strategies. However, none of these approaches so far entered clinical trials. Moreover, no direct IRF-inhibitory strategies have been reported. In this review, we summarize current knowledge of the different IRF-mediated transcriptional regulatory mechanisms and how they reflect the diverse functions of IRFs in homeostasis and in TLR and IFN signaling. Moreover, we present IRFs as promising inhibitory targets and propose a novel direct IRF-modulating strategy employing a pipeline approach that combines comparative in silico docking to the IRF-DBD with in vitro validation of IRF inhibition. We hypothesize that our methodology will enable the efficient identification of IRF-specific and pan-IRF inhibitors that can be used for the treatment of IRF-dependent disorders and malignancies.
Project description:Type I IFNs are key cytokines mediating innate antiviral immunity. cGMP-AMP synthase, ritinoic acid-inducible protein 1 (RIG-I)-like receptors, and Toll-like receptors recognize microbial double-stranded (ds)DNA, dsRNA, and LPS to induce the expression of type I IFNs. These signaling pathways converge at the recruitment and activation of the transcription factor IRF-3 (IFN regulatory factor 3). The adaptor proteins STING (stimulator of IFN genes), MAVS (mitochondrial antiviral signaling), and TRIF (TIR domain-containing adaptor inducing IFN-β) mediate the recruitment of IRF-3 through a conserved pLxIS motif. Here we show that the pLxIS motif of phosphorylated STING, MAVS, and TRIF binds to IRF-3 in a similar manner, whereas residues upstream of the motif confer specificity. The structure of the IRF-3 phosphomimetic mutant S386/396E bound to the cAMP response element binding protein (CREB)-binding protein reveals that the pLxIS motif also mediates IRF-3 dimerization and activation. Moreover, rotavirus NSP1 (nonstructural protein 1) employs a pLxIS motif to target IRF-3 for degradation, but phosphorylation of NSP1 is not required for its activity. These results suggest a concerted mechanism for the recruitment and activation of IRF-3 that can be subverted by viral proteins to evade innate immune responses.