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Dysregulation of the IFN-γ-STAT1 signaling pathway in a cell line model of large granular lymphocyte leukemia.

Dysregulation of the IFN-γ-STAT1 signaling pathway in a cell line model of large granular lymphocyte leukemia.
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Kulling PM, Olson KC, Hamele CE, Toro MF, Tan SF, Feith DJ, Loughran TP,


Kulling PM, Olson KC, Hamele CE, Toro MF, Tan SF, Feith DJ, Loughran TP, (click to view)

Kulling PM, Olson KC, Hamele CE, Toro MF, Tan SF, Feith DJ, Loughran TP,

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PloS one 2018 02 2313(2) e0193429 doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0193429

Abstract

T cell large granular lymphocyte leukemia (T-LGLL) is a rare incurable disease that is characterized by defective apoptosis of cytotoxic CD8+ T cells. Chronic activation of the Janus Kinase-Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription (JAK-STAT) pathway is a hallmark of T-LGLL. One manifestation is the constitutive phosphorylation of tyrosine 701 of STAT1 (p-STAT1). T-LGLL patients also exhibit elevated serum levels of the STAT1 activator, interferon-γ (IFN-γ), thus contributing to an inflammatory environment. In normal cells, IFN-γ production is tightly controlled through induction of IFN-γ negative regulators. However, in T-LGLL, IFN-γ signaling lacks this negative feedback mechanism as evidenced by excessive IFN-γ production and decreased levels of suppressors of cytokine signaling 1 (SOCS1), a negative regulator of IFN-γ. Here we characterize the IFN-γ-STAT1 pathway in TL-1 cells, a cell line model of T-LGLL. TL-1 cells exhibited lower IFN-γ receptor protein and mRNA expression compared to an IFN-γ responsive cell line. Furthermore, IFN-γ treatment did not induce JAK2 or STAT1 activation or transcription of IFN-γ-inducible gene targets. However, IFN-β induced p-STAT1 and subsequent STAT1 gene transcription, demonstrating a specific IFN-γ signaling defect in TL-1 cells. We utilized siRNA targeting of STAT1, STAT3, and STAT5b to probe their role in IL-2-mediated IFN-γ regulation. These studies identified STAT5b as a positive regulator of IFN-γ production. We also characterized the relationship between STAT1, STAT3, and STAT5b proteins. Surprisingly, p-STAT1 was positively correlated with STAT3 levels while STAT5b suppressed the activation of both STAT1 and STAT3. Taken together, these results suggest that the dysregulation of the IFN-γ-STAT1 signaling pathway in TL-1 cells likely results from low levels of the IFN-γ receptor. The resulting inability to induce negative feedback regulators explains the observed elevated IL-2 driven IFN-γ production. Future work will elucidate the best way to target this pathway, with the ultimate goal to find a better therapeutic for T-LGLL.

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