Defined Sensing Mechanisms and Signaling Pathways Contribute to the Global Inflammatory Gene Expression Output Elicited by Ionizing Radiation.

PMID 28930658


Environmental insults are often detected by multiple sensors that activate diverse signaling pathways and transcriptional regulators, leading to a tailored transcriptional output. To understand how a tailored response is coordinated, we examined the inflammatory response elicited in mouse macrophages by ionizing radiation (IR). RNA-sequencing studies revealed that most radiation-induced genes were strongly dependent on only one of a small number of sensors and signaling pathways, notably the DNA damage-induced kinase ATM, which regulated many IR-response genes, including interferon response genes, via an atypical IRF1-dependent, STING-independent mechanism. Moreover, small, defined sets of genes activated by p53 and NRF2 accounted for the selective response to radiation in comparison to a microbial inducer of inflammation. Our findings reveal that genes comprising an environmental response are activated by defined sensing mechanisms with a high degree of selectivity, and they identify distinct components of the radiation response that might be susceptible to therapeutic perturbation.

Related Materials