Rodríguez M, Domingo E, Alonso S, Frade JG, Eiros J, Crespo MS, Fernández N
Current views on the control of IL-23 production focus on the regulation of il23a, the gene encoding IL-23 p19, by NF-κB in combination with other transcription factors. C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP), X2-Box-binding protein 1 (XBP1), activator protein 1 (AP1), SMAD, CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein (C/EBPβ), and cAMP-response element-binding protein (CREB) have been involved in response to LPS, but no data are available regarding the mechanism triggered by the fungal mimic and β-glucan-containing stimulus zymosan, which produces IL-23 and to a low extent the related cytokine IL-12 p70. Zymosan induced the mobilization of CHOP from the nuclear fractions to phagocytic vesicles. Hypha-forming Candida also induced the nuclear disappearance of CHOP. Assay of transcription factor binding to the il23a promoter showed an increase of Thr(P)-71-Thr(P)-69-activating transcription factor 2 (ATF2) binding in response to zymosan. PKC and PKA/mitogen- and stress-activated kinase inhibitors down-regulated Thr(P)-71-ATF2 binding to the il23a promoter and il23a mRNA expression. Consistent with the current concept of complementary phosphorylations on N-terminal Thr-71 and Thr-69 of ATF2 by ERK and p38 MAPK, MEK, and p38 MAPK inhibitors blunted Thr(P)-69-ATF2 binding. Knockdown of atf2 mRNA with siRNA correlated with inhibition of il23a mRNA, but it did not affect the expression of il12/23b and il10 mRNA. These data indicate the following: (i) zymosan decreases nuclear proapoptotic CHOP, most likely by promoting its accumulation in phagocytic vesicles; (ii) zymosan-induced il23a mRNA expression is best explained through coordinated κB- and ATF2-dependent transcription; and (iii) il23a expression relies on complementary phosphorylation of ATF2 on Thr-69 and Thr-71 dependent on PKC and MAPK activities.