Deficiency in steroid receptor coactivator 3 enhances cytokine production in IgE-stimulated mast cells and passive systemic anaphylaxis in mice
- Xiaochun Xia†1, 2,
- Wei Wan†1,
- Qiang Chen1,
- Kun Liu1,
- Sidra Majaz1,
- Pingli Mo1,
- Jianming Xu3 and
- Chundong Yu1Email author
© Xia et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2014
Received: 30 December 2013
Accepted: 27 February 2014
Published: 23 April 2014
Steroid receptor coactivator 3 (SRC-3) is a multifunctional protein that plays an important role in malignancy of several cancers and in regulation of bacterial LPS-induced inflammation. However, the involvement of SRC-3 in allergic response remains unclear. Herein we used passive systemic anaphylaxis (PSA) and passive cutaneous anaphylaxis (PCA) mouse models to assess the role of SRC-3 in allergic response.
SRC-3-deficient mice exhibited more severe allergic response as demonstrated by a significant drop in body temperature and a delayed recovery period compared to wild-type mice in PSA mouse model, whereas no significant difference was observed between two kinds of mice in PCA mouse models. Mast cells play a pivotal role in IgE-mediated allergic response. Antigen-induced aggregation of IgE receptor (FcϵRI) on the surface of mast cell activates a cascade of signaling events leading to the degranulation and cytokine production in mast cells. SRC-3-deficient bone marrow derived mast cells (BMMCs) developed normally but secreted more proinflammatory cytokines such as TNF-α and IL-6 than wild-type cells after antigen stimulation, whereas there was no significant difference in degranulation between two kinds of mast cells. Further studies showed that SRC-3 inhibited the activation of nuclear factor NF-κB pathway and MAPKs including extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), and p38 in antigen-stimulated mast cells.
Our data demonstrate that SRC-3 suppresses cytokine production in antigen-stimulated mast cells as well as PSA in mice at least in part through inhibiting NF-κB and MAPK signaling pathways. Therefore, SRC-3 plays a protective role in PSA and it may become a drug target for anaphylactic diseases.
Mast cells play a pivotal role in IgE-dependent allergic diseases such as allergic rhinitis, asthma and anaphylaxis [1, 2]. IgE antibodies and mast cells have been convincingly linked to the pathology of anaphylaxis . Aggregation of the high affinity IgE receptor (FcϵRI) on the surface of mast cell activates a cascade of signaling events leading to the degranulation and cytokine synthesis in mast cells. Mast cell exerts its effect on various IgE-dependent or IgE-independent immune responses not only through the release of degranules and cytokines but also through cell-cell interaction . Moreover mast cell progenitors in the bone marrow can be induced by interleukin-3 (IL-3) to further proliferate and differentiate into bone marrow-derived mast cells [4, 5].
Steroid receptor coactivator-3 (SRC-3/AIB1/ACTR/pCIP/RAC3/TRAM-1) is a member of p160 coactivator family that also includes SRC-1 and SRC-2, which interacts with nuclear receptors and other transcription factors to enhance their effects on target gene transcription [6–9]. SRC-3 deficiency results in growth retardation and decrease of reproduction rate . Besides that, it also plays an important role in many physiological and pathologic events such as cell growth, oncogenesis and differentiation [11–14]. Studies showed that SRC-3 is overexpressed in many tumors [13, 15], while other studies displayed SRC-3 functions as a tumor suppressor [14, 16]. Therefore, the oncogenic or tumor suppressor effect of SRC-3 depends on the cell context. We have previously demonstrated that SRC-3-/- mice are highly susceptible to LPS-induced lethality  and are markedly susceptible to the lethality caused by E. coli- induced peritonitis . In addition, SRC-3 represses the production of proinflammatory cytokines including TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6 through inhibiting cytokine mRNA translation . These results indicate that SRC-3 can suppress inflammatory response. However, the function of SRC-3 in allergic response and inflammation remains unknown.
Anaphylaxis is a severe, systemic allergic reaction involving the respiratory and cardiovascular systems, usually with additional cutaneous and/or gastrointestinal features . Traditional treatments for allergic diseases have some limitations such as efficacy deficiency or severe side effect, thus new targets are being explored for development of new drugs. In this study, we used SRC-3-/- mice to determine the role of SRC-3 in IgE-mediated anaphylaxis. We found that SRC-3-/- mice suffered severe passive systemic anaphylaxis than wild-type mice. In addition, SRC-3 suppressed cytokine production in antigen-stimulated mast cells at least in part through inhibiting MAPK and NF-κB pathways. These results demonstrate that SRC-3 plays a protective role in passive systemic anaphylaxis.
Enhanced passive systemic anaphylaxis in SRC-3-/-mice
No significant difference in passive cutaneous anaphylaxis between SRC-3-/- and wild-type mice
No significant difference in maturation and antigen-stimulated degranulation between SRC-3-/- and wild-type BMMCs
It has been demonstrated that IgE-mediated mast cell activation and allergic response show the features of degranulation and inflammatory mediator production . To determine the impact of SRC-3 deficiency on antigen-stimulated mast cell degranulation, we measured the levels of β-hexosaminidase, which is frequently used as a degranulation marker released from DNP-HSA-stimulated BMMCs. As shown in Figure 3B, mast cells released β-hexosaminidase after DNP-HSA treatment. However, the degranulation of antigen-stimulated BMMCs from SRC-3-/- and wild-type mice showed no significant difference. This data suggest that enhanced anaphylaxis in SRC-3-/- mice are not due to enhanced degranulation.
Increased antigen-stimulated expression of IL-6 and TNF-α in SRC-3-/- BMMCs
Activation of Syk and PLCγ1 in antigen-stimualted BMMCs is independent of SRC-3
Increased activation of IκB kinase (IKK)-IκB-NF-κB pathway in antigen-induced SRC-3-/- BMMCs
Increased activation of MAPKs in antigen-induced SRC-3-/- BMMCs
In this study, we found that SRC-3-/- mice suffered more severe IgE-induced passive systemic anaphylaxis but not passive cutaneous anaphylaxis compared to wild-type mice, indicating a potential role of SRC-3 in anaphylaxis. Mast cells were considered to be the important effector cells for IgE-induced anaphylaxis. The high affinity receptor for IgE (FcϵRI) is critical for mast cell development and function . Cross-linking of FcϵRI by antigen and IgE results in mast cell degranulation and cytokine production . Given that both mast cell degranulation and cytokine production contribute to the severity of IgE-induced passive systemic anaphylaxis, whereas the severity of passive cutaneous anaphylaxis is mainly affected by mast cell degranulation, we hypothesized that SRC-3 may affect cytokine production but not degranulation by mast cells since SRC-3 deficiency only affected IgE-induced passive systemic anaphylaxis but not passive cutaneous anaphylaxis.
To corroborate the role of SRC-3 in IgE-dependent mast cell activation, we obtained mouse BMMCs from SRC-3-/- and wild-type mice and treated them with IgE/DNP-HSA. Degranulation and cytokine production were observed in both SRC-3-/- and wild-type BMMCs after stimulating with IgE/DNP-HSA. However, SRC-3-/- BMMCs released higher amounts of IL-6 and TNF-α than that from wild-type BMMCs. Therefore, more severe passive systemic anaphylaxis in SRC-3-/- mice is due to increased cytokine production in mast cells. No difference was observed in degranulation between wild-type and SRC-3-/- BMMCs, explaining no significant difference in passive cutaneous anaphylaxis between wild-type and SRC-3-/- mice.
In antigen-stimulated mast cells, Src family kinases such as Lyn and Fyn are activated and subsequently phosphorylate Syk, a central signaling molecule that can activate the downstream signaling molecules including PLCγ1 and MAPKs . Activation of PLCγ1 can increase Ca2+ influx, which is a key regulator for mast cell degranulation . Our study showed no difference in the activation of Syk and PLCγ1 in antigen-stimulated mast cells, explaining that there was no difference in degranulation between SRC-3-/- and wild-type BMMCs. Activation of NF-κB and MAPKs including ERK1/2, JNK and p38 is important for the cytokine production in mast cells . Cross-linking of allergen-specific IgE bound to its receptor FcϵRI induced a series of molecular events leading to NF-κB and MAPK activation and subsequent cytokine production [26, 27]. Since NF-κB and MAPKs including ERK1/2, JNK and p38 are important for the cytokine production in mast cells , and SRC-3-/- BMMCs produced more cytokines than wild-type BMMCs, we examined whether SRC-3 exerts its effect on NF-κB and MAPK signaling pathways. Our results showed that the phosphorylation of IκB and NF-κB subunit p65, ERK1/2, JNK and p38 were increased in antigen-stimulated SRC-3-/- BMMCs as compared to wild-type BMMCs, suggesting that SRC-3 negatively regulates NF-κB and MAPK signaling pathways.
IKK is known to be responsible for the phosphorylation of IκB and p65 and the subsequent activation of NF-κB. However, the phosphorylation of IKK was not affected by SRC-3 deficiency, indicating that SRC-3 inhibits the activation of NF-κB downstream of IKK. It has been shown that SRC-3 is able to associate with IKKs to enhance or suppress the activation of NF-κB on cellular context dependent manner [14, 16]. In our study, we also found that SRC-3 and IKKβ had a physical interaction (Additional file 1: Figure S1A). Among five functional domains of SRC-3 which includes basic-helix-loop-helix (bHLH) domain, serine/threonine (S/T) domain, receptor interaction domain (RID), CBP/P300 interaction domain (CID), and histone acetyltransferase (HAT) domain, S/T and HAT domains of SRC-3 interacted with IKKβ (Additional file 1: Figure S1B). Therefore, SRC-3 may interact with IKKβ through these two domains to negatively regulate IKKβ activity in mast cells in response to antigen stimulation.
It is interesting that SRC-3 could inhibit IgE-induced activation of MAPK pathway by blocking the phosphorylation of JNK, p38 and ERK. JNK, p38 and ERK have been shown to be able to phosphorylate multiple sites on SRC-3 , implicating that JNK, p38 and ERK has the interaction with SRC-3. Therefore, it is possible that the interaction of SRC-3 with JNK, p38 and ERK may negatively affect the phosphorylation of these MAPKs by their upstream kinases. Further studies are needed to examine this possibility.
Materials and methods
RPMI 1640, DMSO, sodium pyruvate, antibody against β-actin and flag, anti-DNP IgE (clone SPE-7) were obtained from Sigma Aldrich (Sigma, St Louis, MO, USA); DNP-human serum albumin (DNP-HSA) was purchased from Biosearch Technologies (Biosearch Technologies, Novato CA, USA); recombinant murine SCF and IL-3 were purchased from peprotech (Peprotech, Rocky Hill, NJ, USA); anti-mouse CD117 (c-Kit)-PE, anti-mouse FcϵRI-FITC, IL-6 ELISA kit, and TNF-α ELISA kit were obtained from eBioscence (eBioscence, San Diego, CA, USA); nonessential amino acid was purchased from Gibco (Gibco, Grand Island, NY, USA); 2-mercaptoethanol was obtained from AMRESCO (AMRESCO, solon OH, USA); fetal bovine serum (FBS) was obtained from Hyclone (Thermo scientific, IL, USA); antibodies against IKKβ, phospho-p38, p38, phospho-JNK, JNK, phospho-ERK1/2, ERK1/2, p65, phospho-p65, PLCγ1, phospho-PLCγ1 and SRC-3 were purchased from Cell Signaling Technology (Danvers, MA, USA); antibody against IκBα and Syk was obtained from Santa Cruz Biotechnology (Santa Cruz, CA, USA); antibody against phospho-Syk was purchased from ProSci (ProSci INCORPORATED, CA, USA).
Female SRC-3-/- mice and wild-type littermates (6–8 weeks age) on a BALB/c background were used for all experiments. Animals were maintained with specific pathogen free air at a temperature between 20 and 23°C with 12-h light and dark cycles and relative humidity of 50%. Animal experiments were performed in accordance with the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. All animal experimental procedures were approved by Animal Care and Use Committee of Xiamen University (Protocol Number: XMULAC20120001). Every effort was made to reduce the suffering of animals.
Preparation of bone marrow mast cells (BMMCs)
BMMCs were cultured as described with modifications [4, 5]. Bone marrow cells were obtained from mice and cultured in BMMC-complete medium comprising RPMI 1640, 10% FBS, 100 U/ml penicillin, 100 μg/ml streptomycin, 100 mM nonessential amino acids, 1 mM sodium pyruvate, 50 μM 2-mercaptoethanol, 10 ng/ml mouse IL-3, and 10 ng/ml mouse SCF. Nonadherent cells were transferred to fresh complete medium once a week. After 4–5 weeks, cell purity was determined by flow cytometric analysis for FcϵRI and c-kit expression.
β-Hexosaminidase (β-HEX) release assay
β-HEX release assay was performed as previously described with modification [5, 34, 35]. BMMCs were deprived of SCF overnight, and then sensitized in complete RPMI 1640 with 1 μg/ml anti-DNP IgE for 4 h. Cells were washed once in Tyrode’s buffer (130 mM NaCl, 10 mM HEPES, 1 mM MgCl2, 5 mM KCl, 1.4 mM CaCl2, 5.6 mM glucose, and 1 mg/ml BSA, pH 7.4) and resuspended in Tyrode’s buffer at 2 × 105 per well in 96 wells. Then, cells were stimulated with DNP-HSA for 1 h. After induction, cells were harvested with 1% Triton X-100, and cell lysis or medium were mixed with p-nitrophenyl-N-acetyl-β-D-glucosamide (1 mM). The reaction was terminated by 100 μl of 0.2 M glycine (pH 10.7) after incubating for 1 h, and OD was read at a wavelength of 405 nm. Values are expressed as the percentage of intracellular β-hexosaminidase released into the medium.
Measurement of IL-6 and TNF-α production by BMMCs was performed as described with modifications . BMMCs were deprived of SCF overnight, and then sensitized in complete RPMI 1640 with 1 μg/ml anti-DNP IgE for 4 h. Cells were stimulated by different concentration of DNP-HSA overnight. The levels of IL-6 and TNF-α in medium were measured using ELISA kits according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Passive systemic anaphylaxis (PSA)
PSA was performed as previously described with modification [4, 21]. Mice were injected intravenously with 10 μg anti-DNP IgE in 200 μl PBS via tail vein. 24 h later, 1 mg DNP-HSA in 200 μl PBS was injected intravenously. After DNP-HSA challenge, body temperature was monitored at various intervals using a rectal digital thermometer. Investigators were blinded to genotype during all experiments.
Passive cutaneous anaphylaxis (PCA)
PCA was performed as previously described with modification . Mice were lightly anesthetized, the right ears were injected intradermally with 1 μg anti-DNP IgE in 20 μl PBS, and the left ears were injected with 20 μl PBS as control. 24 hrs later, mice were injected intravenously with 200 μl of 1% Evan’s blue dye containing 100 μg DNP-HSA. The mice were killed after injection with DNP-HSA, and the ears were removed and incubated in 1 ml formamide at 54°C for 48 h. Absorbance of the resulting supernatants was measured at 610 nm. The relationship between Evans blue concentration and absorbance was linear, indicating that the absorbance represented the quantity of Evans blue extravasation.
Quantitative real-time PCR
Real-time PCR primers
Western blot analysis
Cells were lysed with lysis buffer (200 mM Tris–HCl (pH 7.5), 1.5 M NaCl, 10 mM EDTA, 25 mM sodium pyrophosphate,10 mM glycerolphosphate, 10 mM sodium orythovanadate, 50 mM NaF, 1 mM PMSF, in combination with protein inhibitor cocktail). Thirty micrograms of protein lysates of each sample was subjected to SDS-PAGE and transferred onto nitrocellulose membranes. Blots were incubated with the specific primary antibodies overnight at 4°C. After being washed three times for 15 min each with TBST (TBS + 0.1% Tween20), blots were incubated with horseradishperoxidase-conjugated secondary antibody (Pierce, Rockford, IL, USA) and visualized by chemiluminescence. The band density was quantified by densitometry using Scion Image software and normalized to β-actin levels.
Cells were transfected with the indicated plasmids by using Calcium chloride. At 48 hours post-transfection, cells were harvested and then used for further experiments.
For coimmunoprecipitation (Co-IP) assay, cells were lysed with lysis buffer. Cell lysates were immunoprecipitated by correspondent antibodies or control immunoglobulin G (IgG). After extensive washing, precipitates were analyzed by Western blotting.
Data were collected from several independent experiments, with three replicates per experiment. All data were analyzed with one-way ANOVA with post-Tukey’s post test in SPSS 11.0 and p < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Bars in the graph represent standard deviation (S.D.).
This work was supported by grants from the Program for New Century Excellent Talents in University of the Ministry of Education (NCET-10-0718), the Natural Science Foundation of China (31170819), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (2012121038), and the 111 Project (B12001).
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