Anti-viral and anti-inflammatory mechanisms of the innate immune transcription factor interferon regulatory factor 3: Relevance to human CNS diseases

Leonid Tarassishin, Avital Bauman, Hyeon Sook Suh, Sunhee C. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

Interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF3) is a transcription factor critical in the induction of antiviral immunity. IRF3 is activated following stimulation of cell membrane or cytosolic nucleic acid sensors and is essential in the induction of the IFNβ gene. Most cells constitutively express IRF3 in vitro, but little is known about the regulation of expression of IRF3 in vivo. Immunohistochemical analysis of selected human and mouse tissues demonstrated that IRF3 expression is highly organ- and cell-type specific, showing high expression in certain epithelial cells. In the CNS, while ependymal cells are strongly positive, brain parenchyma has little detectable IRF3 immunoreactivity. The importance of IRF3 in antiviral immunity has been demonstrated by the requirement for IRF3 in suppressing viral replication, but also by the demonstration that virus degrades IRF3 protein in infected cells. Furthermore, HIV-infected microglia in human CNS show abnormal IRF3+ aggregates, indicative of aberrant protein processing in vivo. In addition to antiviral immunity, IRF3 also plays a critical role in the modulation of neuroinflammation. A combination of dominant-negative and over-expression strategies in vitro as well as transgenic expression of IRF3 in vivo demonstrated that IRF3 plays a major role in modulating glial cytokine expression, i.e., suppression of proinflammatory cytokines and promotion of anti-inflammatory or immunoregulatory cytokines. These observations together suggest that IRF3 is a crucial regulator of immune responses against pathogen- and damage-associated molecules. We review recent literature on the molecular pathways of IRF3 activation and function of IRF3 and discuss their implications for CNS diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)132-144
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2013

Keywords

  • Cytokines
  • HIV
  • IFNβ
  • IRF3
  • Innate immunity
  • Microglia
  • Neuroinflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology

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