Acylation determines the toll-like receptor (TLR)-dependent positive versus TLR2-, mannose receptor-, and SIGNR1-independent negative regulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines by mycobacterial lipomannan

Emilie Doz, Stéphanie Rose, Jérôme Nigou, Martine Gilleron, Germain Puzo, François Erard, Bernhard Ryffel, Valerie F J Quesniaux
Journal of Biological Chemistry 2007 September 7, 282 (36): 26014-25
Mycobacterium tuberculosis lipomannans (LMs) modulate the host innate immune response. The total fraction of Mycobacterium bovis BCG LM was shown both to induce macrophage activation and pro-inflammatory cytokines through Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) and to inhibit pro-inflammatory cytokine production by lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-activated macrophages through a TLR2-independent pathway. The pro-inflammatory activity was attributed to tri- and tetra-acylated forms of BCG LM but not the mono- and di-acylated ones. Here, we further characterize the negative activities of M. bovis BCG LM on primary murine macrophage activation. We show that di-acylated LMs exhibit a potent inhibitory effect on cytokine and NO secretion by LPS-activated macrophages. The inhibitory activity of mycobacterial mannose-capped lipoarabino-mannans on human phagocytes was previously attributed to their binding to the C-type lectins mannose receptor or specific intracellular adhesion molecule-3 grabbing nonintegrin (DC-SIGN). However, we found that di-acylated LM inhibition of LPS-induced tumor necrosis factor secretion by murine macrophages was independent of TLR2, mannose receptor, or the murine ortholog SIGNR1. We further determined that tri-acyl-LM, an agonist of TLR2/TLR1, promoted interleukin-12 p40 and NO secretion through the adaptor proteins MyD88 and TIRAP, whereas the fraction containing tetra-acylated LM activated macrophages in a MyD88-dependent fashion, mostly through TLR4. TLR4-dependent pro-inflammatory activity was also seen with M. tuberculosis LM, composed mostly of tri-acylated LM, suggesting that acylation degree per se might not be sufficient to determine TLR2 versus TLR4 usage. Therefore, LM acylation pattern determines the anti-inflammatory versus pro-inflammatory effects of LM through different pattern recognition receptors or signaling pathways and may represent an additional mean of regulating the host innate immunity by mycobacteria.

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