Transcriptional activation of the IL31 gene by NFAT and STAT6
Keunhee Park ; Joo-Hong Park ; Hyoung-Pyo Kim ; Min-Ji Song ; Jong-Joo Lee ; Wook-Jin Yang
Journal of Leukocyte Biology, Vol.91(2) : 245~257, 2012
Journal of Leukocyte Biology
IL-31, a newly identified member of the IL-6 cytokine family, is involved in many pathological conditions, including atopic dermatitis and pruritis. In this study, we investigated how expression of IL-31 is regulated in T cells and mast cells. We observed that expression of IL-31 required a calcium signal and was dependent on the calcineurin-NFAT signaling pathway. Moreover, we found that IL-31 promoter contains a positive regulatory region that mediates calcium- and IL-4-dependent induction of the IL-31 gene and demonstrated that a change into an open chromatin conformation occurs in this region after stimulation with calcium and IL-4. Whereas IL-4 responsiveness required STAT6 binding sites, calcium responsiveness of IL-31 promoter required NFAT binding sites that bind NFATc1 and NFATc2 in vitro and in vivo. The induction of IL-31 promoter activity was impaired when these sites were mutated but was enhanced by CA-NFATc1 or STAT6 proteins and further increased synergistically by combinations of both proteins. Furthermore, the importance of STAT6 proteins was indicated by impaired, IL-4-mediated induction of IL-31 in STAT6-diminished Jurkat cells. Thus, our data demonstrate that calcium and IL-4 signals are required to mediate induction of IL-31 in Th2 cells and mast cells and that this induction appears to result from specific binding of NFAT and STAT6 proteins.