Inhibition of IFN-gamma-induced class II transactivator expression by a 19-kDa lipoprotein from Mycobacterium tuberculosis: a potential mechanism for immune evasion

Rish K Pai, Marilyn Convery, Thomas A Hamilton, W Henry Boom, Clifford V Harding
Journal of Immunology 2003 July 1, 171 (1): 175-84
Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) persists inside macrophages despite vigorous immune responses. MTB and MTB 19-kDa lipoprotein inhibit class II MHC (MHC-II) expression and Ag processing by a Toll-like receptor 2-dependent mechanism that is shown in this study to involve a defect in IFN-gamma induction of class II transactivator (CIITA). Exposure of macrophages to MTB or MTB 19-kDa lipoprotein inhibited IFN-gamma-induced MHC-II expression, but not IL-4-induced MHC-II expression, by preventing induction of mRNA for CIITA (total, type I, and type IV), IFN regulatory factor-1, and MHC-II. MTB 19-kDa lipoprotein induced mRNA for suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS)1 but did not inhibit IFN-gamma-induced Stat1 phosphorylation. Furthermore, the lipoprotein inhibited MHC-II Ag processing in SOCS1(-/-) macrophages. MTB 19-kDa lipoprotein did not inhibit translocation of phosphorylated Stat1 to the nucleus or Stat1 binding to and transactivation of IFN-gamma-sensitive promoter constructs. Thus, MTB 19-kDa lipoprotein inhibited IFN-gamma signaling independent of SOCS1 and without interfering with the activation of Stat1. Inhibition of IFN-gamma-induced CIITA by MTB 19-kDa lipoprotein may allow MTB to evade detection by CD4(+) T cells.

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