Transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of IκB-ζ upon engagement of the BCR, TLRs and FcγR

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IκB-ζ is a nuclear IκB protein robustly induced in macrophages and fibroblasts upon TLR or IL-1R stimulation. IκB-ζ associates with NF-κB in the cell nucleus and is essential for the induction of a subset of secondary response genes represented by IL-6. Here, we analyzed induction of IκB-ζ in mouse B cells and found that IκB-ζ is induced by BCR or TLR stimulation. Similar to TLR stimulation, BCR stimulation elicited NF-κB-mediated transcriptional activation and mRNA stabilization of IκB-ζ via a cis-element in IκB-ζ mRNA. Proteasome inhibitors inhibited transcriptional activation but not post-transcriptional activation, indicating independency of the two signals. Co-stimulation of the BCR and TLR9 or TLR7, but not TLR2/1, synergistically induced IκB-ζ. Co-engagement of inhibitory Fcγ receptor suppressed BCR-mediated IκB-ζ expression but not that induced by TLR stimulation alone or co-stimulation of TLR and the BCR. The PI3K inhibitor LY294002 inhibited BCR-mediated, but not TLR-mediated, induction of IκB-ζ, consistent with the role of PI3K in BCR signaling and its suppression by FcγR. Analysis of IκB-ζ-deficient B cells demonstrated that IκB-ζ was essential upon stimulation of BCR or TLR for the expression of several genes including IL-10 and CTLA4. IκB-ζ-deficient B cells exhibited impaired proliferation and enhanced up-regulation of CD86 following stimulation of TLR9, but not the BCR, indicating critical roles for IκB-ζ in TLR signaling in B cells. Strict regulatory mechanisms for the induction of IκB-ζ via multiple pathways and its essential function upon stimulation indicate that IκB-ζ plays an important role in B cells.

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