Antiapoptotic Proteins in Human Macrophage Survival, Differentiation, Innate Immunity and Protection from HIV-induced Apoptosis

Title: Antiapoptotic Proteins in Human Macrophage Survival, Differentiation, Innate Immunity and Protection from HIV-induced Apoptosis
Authors: Busca, Aurelia
Date: 2013
Abstract: Macrophages represent long lived immune cells that are remarkably resistant to apoptosis, which allows them to perform in highly stressful environments. Apoptosis resistance is a characteristic that develops during the differentiation process from monocytes to macrophages. However, the signaling pathways that mediate the development of macrophage antiapoptotic phenotype during differentiation remain mostly unknown. Because of their decreased susceptibility to cell death, macrophages are also key viral reservoirs during HIV infection. My research aims to understand the molecular mechanisms and signaling pathways that mediate cell survival during and after monocyte to macrophage differentiation and the involvement of the main families of antiapoptotic proteins, IAPs (inhibitors of apoptosis) and Bcl2 in this process. HIV accessory protein Vpr was used as an apoptotic stimulus, due to its death inducing abilities in other cell types. My results show that survival of macrophages is distinctively regulated during and after differentiation. I have identified a signaling pathway consisting of PI3K/Akt activation of NFκB that is important in survival of differentiating macrophages by specifically sustaining antiapoptotic Bcl-xL expression. However, once differentiated, Mcl-1, but not Bcl-xL is dependent on PI3K/Akt activation. Moreover, differentiated macrophages are resistant to the effect of HIV-Vpr, which is highly apoptotic for monocytes. In contrast, resistance to HIV-Vpr induced apoptosis of human macrophages is specifically mediated by antiapoptotic IAP proteins, with no involvement of the Bcl2 family, which maintains macrophage viability in the absence of any apoptotic stimuli. In addition to their antiapoptotic properties, IAPs are also important regulators of macrophage function. By using chemical compounds (SMAC mimetics) that target IAPs for degradation, I have shown that IAPs positively modulate LPS-induced IL10, IL-27 and MIG (monokine induced by IFNγ) production in human macrophages, by promoting TRAF2, JNK and p38 signaling and NFκB activation. In addition, IAPs also contribute to LPS-induction of CD80/CD86 costimulatory molecules. Overall, my results suggest that both IAPs and Bcl2 families contribute to survival of human macrophages and that IAPs are also involved in innate immune responses. Unraveling the mechanisms that control macrophage survival and function in various settings would provide therapeutic strategies aimed at eliminating cells when their survival is no longer beneficial for the host, as in the case of HIV infection or autoimmune diseases.
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -