In addition to essential roles in protein synthesis, lysyl-tRNA synthetase (KRS) is secreted to trigger a proinflammatory function that induces macrophage activation and TNF-α secretion. KRS has been associated with autoimmune diseases such as polymyositis and dermatomyositis. In this study, we investigated the immunomodulatory effects of KRS on bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (DCs) of C57BL/6 mice and subsequent polarization of Th cells and analyzed the underlying mechanisms. KRS-treated DCs increased the expression of cell surface molecules and proinflammatory cytokines associated with DC maturation and activation. Especially, KRS treatment significantly increased production of IL-12, a Th1-polarizing cytokine, in DCs. KRS triggered the nuclear translocation of the NF-κB p65 subunit along with the degradation of IκB proteins and the phosphorylation of MAPKs in DCs. Additionally, JNK, p38, and ERK inhibitors markedly recovered the degradation of IκB proteins, suggesting the involvement of MAPKs as the upstream regulators of NF-κB in the KRS-induced DC maturation and activation. Importantly, KRS-treated DCs strongly increased the differentiation of Th1 cells when cocultured with CD4+ T cells. The addition of anti-IL-12-neutralizing Ab abolished the secretion of IFN-γ in the coculture, indicating that KRS induces Th1 cell response via DC-derived IL-12. Moreover, KRS enhanced the OVA-specific Th1 cell polarization in vivo following the adoptive transfer of OVA-pulsed DCs. Taken together, these results indicated that KRS effectively induced the maturation and activation of DCs through MAPKs/NF-κB-signaling pathways and favored DC-mediated Th1 cell response.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy