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IL-33 induces granzyme C expression in murine mast cells via an MSK1/2-CREB-dependent pathway

Iain R. Phair, Megan C. Sumoreeah, Niamh Scott, Laura Spinelli,
Published: 6 December 2022

Abstract: Granzymes comprise a group of proteases involved in the killing of infected or cancerous cells by the immune system. Although best studied in T cells and natural killer (NK) cells, they are also expressed in some innate immune cells. Granzymes B and C are encoded in the mouse chymase locus that also encodes a number of mast cell-specific proteases. In line with this, mast cells can express granzyme B, although how this is regulated and their ability to express other granzymes is less well studied. We therefore examined how IL-33, a cytokine able to activate mast cells but not induce degranulation, regulated granzyme B and C levels in mast cells. Granzyme C, but not B, mRNA was strongly up-regulated in bone marrow-derived mast cells following IL-33 stimulation and there was a corresponding increase in granzyme C protein. These increases in both granzyme C mRNA and protein were blocked by a combination of the p38α/β MAPK inhibitor VX745 and the MEK1/2 inhibitor PD184352, which blocks the activation of ERK1/2. ERK1/2 and p38α activate the downstream kinases, mitogen and stress-activated kinases (MSK) 1 and 2, and IL-33 stimulated the phosphorylation of MSK1 and its substrate CREB in an ERK1/2 and p38-dependent manner. The promoter for granzyme C contains a potential CREB-binding site. Bone marrow-derived mast cells from either MSK1/2 double knockout or CREB Ser133Ala knockin mice were unable to up-regulate granzyme C. Together these results indicate that IL-33-induced granzyme C expression in mast cells is regulated by an MSK1/2-CREB-dependent pathway.
Keywords: extracellular signal-regulated kinases / CREB / mast cell / p38 MAPK / interleukins / Myd88

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