Differential requirement of histone acetylase and deacetylase activities for IRF5-mediated proinflammatory cytokine expression

Di Feng, Niquiche Sangster-Guity, Rivka Stone, Justyna Korczeniewska, Margo E. Mancl, Patricia Fitzgerald-Bocarsly, Betsy J. Barnes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Recent evidence indicates a new role for histone deacetylases (HDACs) in the activation of genes governing the host immune response. Virus, along with other pathogenic stimuli, triggers an antiviral defense mechanism through the induction of IFN, IFN-stimulated genes, and other proinflammatory cytokines. Many of these genes have been shown to be regulated by transcription factors of the IFN regulatory factor (IRF) family. Recent studies from IRF5 knockout mice have confirmed a critical role for IRF5 in virus-induced type I IFN expression and proinflammatory cytokines IL-6, IL-12, and TNF-α; yet, little is known of the molecular mechanism of IRF5-mediated proinflammatory cytokine expression. In this study, we show that both HDACs and histone acetyltransferases (HATs) associate with IRF5, leading to alterations in its transactivation ability. Using the HDAC inhibitor trichostatin A, we demonstrate that ISRE, IFNA, and IL6 promoters require HDAC activity for transactivation and transcription, whereas TNFα does not. Mapping the interaction of corepressor proteins (HDAC1, silencing mediator of retinoid and thyroid receptor/nuclear corepressor of retinoid receptor, and Sin3a) and HATs to IRF5 revealed distinct differences, including the dependence of IRF5 phosphorylation on HAT association resulting in IRF5 acetylation. Data presented in this study support a mechanism whereby virus triggers the dynamic conversion of an IRF5-mediated silencing complex to that of an activating complex on promoters of target genes. These data provide the first evidence, to our knowledge, of a tightly controlled transcriptional mechanism whereby IRF5 regulates proinflammatory cytokine expression in conjunction with HATs and HDACs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6003-6012
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 15 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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