Background: Autoimmune polyendocrinopathy-candidiasis-ectodermal dystrophy (APECED) syndrome is a complex immunologic disease caused by mutation of the autoimmune regulator (AIRE) gene. Autoimmunity in patients with APECED syndrome has been shown to result from deficiency of AIRE function in transcriptional regulation of thymic peripheral tissue antigens, which leads to defective T-cell negative selection. Candidal susceptibility in patients with APECED syndrome is thought to result from aberrant adaptive immunity. Objective: To determine whether AIRE could function in anticandidal innate immune signaling, we investigated an extrathymic role for AIRE in the immune recognition of β-glucan through the Dectin-1 pathway, which is required for defense against Candida species. Methods: Innate immune signaling through the Dectin-1 pathway was assessed in both PBMCs from patients with APECED syndrome and a monocytic cell line. Subcellular localization of AIRE was assessed by using confocal microscopy. Results: PBMCs from patients with APECED syndrome had reduced TNF-α responses after Dectin-1 ligation but in part used a Raf-1-mediated pathway to preserve function. In the THP-1 human monocytic cell line, reducing AIRE expression resulted in significantly decreased TNF-α release after Dectin-1 ligation. AIRE formed a transient complex with the known Dectin-1 pathway components phosphorylated spleen tyrosine kinase and caspase recruitment domain-containing protein 9 after receptor ligation and localized with Dectin-1 at the cell membrane. Conclusion: AIRE can participate in the Dectin-1 signaling pathway, indicating a novel extrathymic role for AIRE and a defect that likely contributes to fungal susceptibility in patients with APECED syndrome.
- chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis
- innate immunity
- Primary immunodeficiency
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy