Journal of cellular and molecular medicine

TLR3/TRIF signalling pathway regulates IL-32 and IFN-β secretion through activation of RIP-1 and TRAF in the human cornea.

PMID 25754842


Toll-like receptor-3 (TLR3) and RNA helicase retinoic-acid-inducible protein-1 (RIG-I) serve as cytoplasmic sensors for viral RNA components. In this study, we investigated how the TLR3 and RIG-I signalling pathway was stimulated by viral infection to produce interleukin (IL)-32-mediated pro-inflammatory cytokines and type I interferon in the corneal epithelium using Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-infected human cornea epithelial cells (HCECs/EBV) as a model of viral keratitis. Increased TLR3 and RIG-I that are responded to EBV-encoded RNA 1 and 2 (EBER1 and EBER2) induced the secretion of IL-32-mediated pro-inflammatory cytokines and IFN-β through up-regulation of TRIF/TRAF family proteins or RIP-1. TRIF silencing or TLR3 inhibitors more efficiently inhibited sequential phosphorylation of TAK1, TBK1, NF-κB and IRFs to produce pro-inflammatory cytokines and IFN-β than RIG-I-siRNA transfection in HCECs/EBV. Blockade of RIP-1, which connects the TLR3 and RIG-I pathways, significantly blocked the TLR3/TRIF-mediated and RIG-I-mediated pro-inflammatory cytokines and IFN-β production in HCECs/EBV. These findings demonstrate that TLR3/TRIF-dependent signalling pathway against viral RNA might be a main target to control inflammation and anti-viral responses in the ocular surface.