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Nature communications

RasGRP3 limits Toll-like receptor-triggered inflammatory response in macrophages by activating Rap1 small GTPase.


PMID 25118589

Abstract

Host immune cells can detect and destruct invading pathogens via pattern-recognition receptors. Small Rap GTPases act as conserved molecular switches coupling extracellular signals to various cellular responses, but their roles as regulators in Toll-like receptor (TLR) signalling have not been fully elucidated. Here we report that Ras guanine nucleotide-releasing protein 3 (RasGRP3), a guanine nucleotide-exchange factor activating Ras and Rap1, limits production of proinflammatory cytokines (especially IL-6) in macrophages by activating Rap1 on activation by low levels of TLR agonists. We demonstrate that RasGRP3, a dominant member of RasGRPs in macrophages, impairs TLR3/4/9-induced IL-6 production and relieves dextrane sulphate sodium-induced colitis and collagen-induced arthritis. In RasGRP3-deficient RAW264.7 cells obtained by CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing, TLR3/4/9-induced activation of Rap1 was inhibited while ERK1/2 activation was enhanced. Our study suggests that RasGRP3 limits inflammatory response by activating Rap1 on low-intensity pathogen infection, setting a threshold for preventing excessive inflammatory response.

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