Characterization of signaling pathways regulating the expression of pro-inflammatory long form thymic stromal lymphopoietin upon human metapneumovirus infection
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionScientific Reports. 2018, 8:883 1-11. 10.1038/s41598-018-19225-0
Thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) is associated with several allergic diseases including asthma. Two isoforms of TSLP exist in humans, a long form (lfTSLP) and a short form (sfTSLP), displaying distinct immunological functions. Recently, TSLP was found to be upregulated in human airway cells upon human metapneumovirus (hMPV) infection, yet it remains unclear if the two isoforms are regulated differently during hMPV infection. Importantly, the molecular mechanisms underlying hMPV-mediated TSLP induction remain undescribed. In this study, we characterized the expression and regulation of TSLP in hMPV-infected human airway cells. We demonstrated that hMPV strongly induced the expression of pro-inflammatory lfTSLP in human airway epithelial cells and lung fibroblasts. Further, knockdown of pattern recognition receptors retinoic acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I) or Toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3), as well as downstream signal transducers, abrogated hMPV-mediated lfTSLP induction. Importantly, silencing of TANK-binding kinase 1 (TBK1) also impaired hMPV-mediated lfTSLP induction, which could be attributed to compromised NF-κB activation. Overall, these results suggest that TBK1 may be instrumental for hMPV-mediated activation of NF-κB downstream RIG-I and TLR3, leading to a specific induction of lfTSLP in hMPV-infected human airway cells.