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Unc93B1 Restricts Systemic Lethal Inflammation by Orchestrating Toll-like Receptor 7 and 9 Trafficking

Immunity 2011 Jun 15. [Epub ahead of print]
Ryutaro Fukui, Shin-Ichiroh Saitoh, Atsuo Kanno, Masahiro Onji, Takuma Shibata, Akihiko Ito, Morikazu Onji, Mitsuru Matsumoto, Shizuo Akira, Nobuaki Yoshida, and Kensuke Miyake
Division of Infectious Genetics, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, The Institute of Medical Science, The University of Tokyo, 4-6-1 Shirokanedai, Minatoku, Tokyo 108-8639, Japan.

Toll-like receptor-7 (TLR7) and 9, innate immune sensors for microbial RNA or DNA, have been implicated in autoimmunity. Upon activation, TLR7 and 9 are transported from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) to endolysosomes for nucleic acid sensing by an ER-resident protein, Unc93B1. Little is known, however, about a role for sensor transportation in controlling autoimmunity. TLR9 competes with TLR7 for Unc93B1-dependent trafficking and predominates over TLR7. TLR9 skewing is actively maintained by Unc93B1 and reversed to TLR7 if Unc93B1 loses preferential binding via a D34A mutation. We here demonstrate that mice harboring a D34A mutation showed TLR7-dependent, systemic lethal inflammation. CD4(+) T cells showed marked differentiation toward T helper 1 (Th1) or Th17 cell subsets. B cell depletion abolished T cell differentiation and systemic inflammation. Thus, Unc93B1 controls homeostatic TLR7 activation by balancing TLR9 to TLR7 trafficking.