Inflammasomes are cytosolic multiprotein complexes in macrophages. They assemble after infection- or stress-associated stimuli, activating both caspase-1-mediated inflammatory cytokine secretion and pyroptosis. Increased inflammasome activity resulting from gene mutations is related to monogenic autoinflammatory syndromes. However, variable penetrance among patients with the same gene mutations suggests involvement of additional mechanisms associated with inflammasome gene regulation.....



Aims: The ferric uptake regulator (Fur) is the main transcriptional regulator of genes involved in iron homeostasis in most prokaryotes. FurA from Anabaena sp. PCC 7120 contains five cysteine residues, four of them arranged in two redox-active CXXC motifs. The protein needs not only metal but also reducing conditions to remain fully active in vitro. Through a mutational study of the cysteine residues present in FurA, we have investigated their involvement in metal and DNA binding. Results: Residue C101 that belongs to a conserved CXXC motif plays an essential role in both metal and DNA binding activities in vitro. Substitution of C101 by serine impairs DNA and metal binding abilities of FurA. Isothermal titration calorimetry measurements show that the redox state of C101 is responsible for the protein ability to coordinate the metal corepressor. Moreover, the redox state of C101 varies with the presence or absence of C104 or C133, suggesting that the environments of these cysteines are mutually interdependent....



Different data support a role for the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) pathway during liver regeneration and hepatocarcinogenesis. However, important issues, such as the precise mechanisms mediating its actions and the unique versus redundant functions, have not been fully defined. Here, we present a novel transgenic mouse model expressing a hepatocyte-specific truncated form of human EGFR, which acts as negative dominant mutant (ΔEGFR) and allows definition of its tyrosine kinase-dependent functions. Results indicate a critical role for EGFR catalytic activity during the early stages of liver regeneration. Thus, after two-thirds partial hepatectomy, ΔEGFR livers displayed lower and delayed proliferation and lower activation of proliferative signals, which correlated with overactivation of the transforming growth factor-β pathway. Altered regenerative response was associated with amplification of cytostatic effects of transforming growth factor-β through induction of cell cycle negative regulators. Interestingly, lipid synthesis was severely inhibited in ΔEGFR livers after partial hepatectomy, revealing a new function for EGFR kinase activity as a lipid metabolism regulator in regenerating hepatocytes. In spite of these profound alterations, ΔEGFR livers were able to recover liver mass by overactivating compensatory signals, such as c-Met. Our results also indicate that EGFR catalytic activity is critical in the early preneoplastic stages of the liver because ΔEGFR mice showed a delay in the appearance of diethyl-nitrosamine-induced tumors, which correlated with decreased proliferation and delay in the diethyl-nitrosamine-induced inflammatory process. Conclusion: These studies demonstrate that EGFR catalytic activity is critical during the initial phases of both liver regeneration and carcinogenesis and provide key mechanistic insights into how this kinase acts to regulate liver pathophysiology.


The role of cytokines in establishing specific transcriptional programmes in innate immune cells has long been recognized. However, little is known about how these extracellular factors instruct innate immune cell epigenomes to engage specific differentiation states. Human monocytes differentiate under inflammatory conditions into effector cells with non-redundant functions, such as dendritic cells and macrophages. In this context, interleukin 4 (IL-4) and granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) drive dendritic cell differentiation, whereas GM-CSF alone leads to macrophage differentiation.

Here, we investigate the role of IL-4 in directing functionally relevant dendritic-cell-specific DNA methylation changes. A comparison of DNA methylome dynamics during differentiation from human monocytes to dendritic cells and macrophages identified gene sets undergoing dendritic-cell-specific or macrophage-specific demethylation. Demethylation is TET2-dependent and is essential for acquiring proper dendritic cell and macrophage identity. Most importantly, activation of the JAK3-STAT6 pathway, downstream of IL-4, is required for the acquisition of the dendritic-cell-specific demethylation and expression signature, following STAT6 binding. A constitutively activated form of STAT6 is able to bypass IL-4 upstream signalling and instruct dendritic-cell-specific functional DNA methylation changes.

Our study is the first description of a cytokine-mediated sequence of events leading to direct gene-specific demethylation in innate immune cell differentiation.


Plastid-to-nucleus retrograde signals emitted by dysfunctional chloroplasts impact photomorphogenic development, but the molecular link between retrograde- and photosensory-receptor signalling has remained unclear. Here, we show that the phytochrome and retrograde signalling (RS) pathways converge antagonistically to regulate the expression of the nuclear-encoded transcription factor GLK1, a key regulator of a light-induced transcriptional network central to photomorphogenesis. GLK1 gene transcription is directly repressed by PHYTOCHROME-INTERACTING FACTOR (PIF)-class bHLH transcription factors in darkness, but light-activated phytochrome reverses this activity, thereby inducing expression. Conversely, we show that retrograde signals repress this induction by a mechanism independent of PIF mediation. Collectively, our data indicate that light at moderate levels acts through the plant's nuclear-localized sensory-photoreceptor system to induce appropriate photomorphogenic development, but at excessive levels, sensed through the separate plastid-localized RS system, acts to suppress such development, thus providing a mechanism for protection against photo-oxidative damage by minimizing the tissue exposure to deleterious radiation.


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