FANCA and FANCC modulate TLR and p38 MAPK-dependent expression of IL-1β in macrophages

Michael R. Garbati, Laura E. Hays, Winifred Keeble, Jane E. Yates, R. Keaney Rathbun, Grover C. Bagby

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    22 Scopus citations


    Hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells with inactivated Fanconi anemia (FA) genes, FANCA and FANCC, are hypersensitive to inflammatory cytokines. One of these, tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α), is also overproduced by FA mononuclear phagocytes in response to certain Toll-like receptor (TLR) agonists, creating an autoinhibitory loop that may contribute to the pathogenesis of progressive bone marrow (BM) failure and selection of TNF-a-resistant leukemic stem cell clones. In macrophages, the TNF-α overproduction phenotype depends on p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), an enzyme also known to induce expression of other inflammatory cytokines, including interleukin 1β (IL-1β). Reasoning that IL-1β might be involved in a like autoinhibitory loop, we determined that (1) TLR activation of FANCA- and FANCC-deficient macrophages induced overproduction of both TNF-α and IL-1β in a p38-dependent manner; (2) exposure of Fancc-deficient BM progenitors to IL-1β potently suppressed the expansion of multipotent progenitor cells in vitro; and (3) although TNF-α overexpression in FA cells is controlled posttranscriptionally by the p38 substrate MAPKAPK-2, p38-dependent overproduction of IL-1β is controlled transcriptionally. We suggest that multiple inflammatory cytokines overproduced by FANCA- and FANCC-deficient mononuclear phagocytes may contribute to the progressive BM failure that characterizes FA, and that to achieve suppression of this proinflammatory state, p38 is a more promising molecular therapeutic target than either IL-1β or TNF-α alone.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)3197-3205
    Number of pages9
    Issue number18
    StatePublished - 2013

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Biochemistry
    • Immunology
    • Hematology
    • Cell Biology


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