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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Novel mode of interference with nuclear factor of activated T-cells regulation in T-cells by the bacterial metabolite n-butyrate.

The transcription factor nuclear factor of activated T-cells (NF-AT) plays an essential role in the activation of many early immune response genes. A dynamic equilibrium between calcineurin and cellular kinases controls its phosphorylation and thus regulates its activity by determining its subcellular localization. Here, we demonstrate that T-cell activation in the presence of the bacterial metabolite n-butyrate, which leads to inhibition of interleukin-2 transcription, is characterized by the maintenance of the activity of counter-regulatory kinases glycogen synthase kinase 3 and protein kinase A as well as persistence of intracellular cAMP levels, whereas calcium response and mitogen-activated protein kinase activation were indistinguishable from cells stimulated in the absence of n-butyrate. Nuclear binding of NF-AT was decreased but other transcription factors implicated in interleukin-2 expression such as AP1 and nuclear factor kappaB were unaffected. The effect on NF-AT binding appeared to be the result of increased nuclear export because the export inhibitor leptomycin B completely restored nuclear binding of NF-AT. We, therefore, provide first evidence for interference with NF-AT regulation alternative to the currently understood inhibition of nuclear import. This mechanism might represent a bacterial strategy to subvert host defense, which could be of particular clinical importance in the gastrointestinal tract where high amounts of n-butyrate are physiologically present.[1]


  1. Novel mode of interference with nuclear factor of activated T-cells regulation in T-cells by the bacterial metabolite n-butyrate. Diakos, C., Prieschl, E.E., Saemann, M., Novotny, V., Bohmig, G., Csonga, R., Baumruker, T., Zlabinger, G.J. J. Biol. Chem. (2002) [Pubmed]
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