Toll-like receptor 4 mediates the antitumor host response induced by a 55-kilodalton protein isolated from Aeginetia indica L., a parasitic plant

Masato Okamoto, Go Oh-E, Tetsuya Oshikawa, Sachiko Furuichi, Tomoyuki Tano, Sharif U Ahmed, Sachiko Akashi, Kensuke Miyake, Osamu Takeuchi, Shizuo Akira, Kunisuke Himeno, Mitsunobu Sato, Shinya Ohkubo
Clinical and Diagnostic Laboratory Immunology 2004, 11 (3): 483-95
A 55-kDa protein named AILb-A, isolated from the seed extract of Aeginetia indica L., a parasitic plant, induces a Th1-type T-cell response and elicits a marked antitumor effect in tumor-bearing mice. In the present study, we examined the role of Toll-like receptors (TLRs), which have been implicated in pathogen-induced cell signaling, in AILb-A-induced immune responses. In the luciferase assay using a nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB-dependent reporter plasmid, AILb-A induced NF-kappaB activation in the cells transfected with TLR4, but not with those transfected with the TLR2 gene, in a dose-dependent manner. TLR4-mediated NF-kappaB activation induced by AILb-A but not by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) was also observed under serum-free conditions. In in vitro experiments using human peripheral blood mononuclear cells, AILb-A-induced cytokine production was markedly inhibited by anti-TLR4 but not by anti-CD14 antibody, while LPS-induced, TLR4-mediated cytokine production was inhibited by anti-CD14 as well as anti-TLR4 antibodies. Cytokine production, killer cell activities, maturation of dendritic cells, phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinases, and nuclear translocation of interferon-regulatory factor 3 induced by AILb-A were severely impaired in TLR4-deficient but not TLR2-deficient mice. Transfection of TLR4-deficient mouse-derived macrophages with the TLR4 expression plasmid led AILb-A to induce cytokines. Finally, the antitumor effect of AILb-A was also impaired in TLR4-deficient and TLR4-mutated mice. These findings suggest that TLR4 mediates antitumor immunity induced by the plant-derived protein AILb-A.

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