Recent studies suggest that inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) results from the disruption of normal host immune cells responses to microbial molecules that can trigger inflammation in the intestine. Dendritic cells (DCs) are specialized immune cells that are highly sensitive to microbes and can potently activate inflammatory cells. As DCs may frequently or tonically sense the presence of microbes in the intestine, their propensity to cause inflammation may be dependent on their intracellular regulation or """"""""interpretation"""""""" of encounters with microbes. Hence, intracellular proteins that regulate signals triggered by microbes may be central to the commitment to overt inflammatory responses. A20 is an enzyme that potently restricts signals from microbial sensing pathways, including Toll-like receptor (TLR), NOD and TNF signals. Thus, our central hypothesis is that A20 expression specifically in DCs preserves immune homeostasis and prevents IBD and IBD-associated arthritis. To test our central hypothesis, we have generated a novel strain of mice, A20FL/FL CD11c-Cre mice, in which A20 is deleted specifically from DCs. Remarkably;our preliminary data with these mice suggest that these mice spontaneously develop colitis, sero-negative arthritis and spondyloarthritis, a stereotypical syndrome in human IBD. We now propose to use these A20FL/FL CD11-cre mice to determine the cellular and molecular mechanisms linking A20 expression in DCs to these provocative phenotypes. Specifically, we will determine whether luminal microbes and T cells are involved in the pathophysiologies by which A20 deficient DCs cause colitis and arthritis (Aim 1). As A20 may restrict intracellular signals in DCs, including MyD88 dependent TLR signals, we will use compound A20FL/FL MyD88FL/FL CD11c-Cre mice to determine which A20 regulated signals in DCs are MyD88-dependent and which signals are MyD88-independent. Studies with these mice will unveil which intracellular DC signals and DC products regulate T cell activation, colitis, and sero-negative arthritis (Aim 2). A20 is a ubiquitn modifying enzyme that regulates ubiquitination of signaling proteins and also binds to A20 Binding Inhibitor of NFkB-1, or ABIN-1. To define the molecular mechanisms by which A20 and ABIN-1 may collaborate to restrict signals in DCs, we have also generated mice lacking ABIN-1 specifically in DCs. We will now use these mice to study how ABIN-1 collaborates with A20 to restrict signaling in DCs and prevent colitis and arthritis (Aim 3).

Public Health Relevance

This project focuses on a novel anti-inflammatory protein called A20 and how it regulates dendritic cells, colitis, and colitis associated arthritis. Dendritc cells and Toll-like receptors are central to the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel diseases. In addition, recent human genetic studies have revealed that SNPs of the human A20 gene are associated with Crohn's disease. Therefore, understandings how A20 regulates dendritic cells and prevents colitis and colitis associated arthritis will significantly enhance the development of therapies for inflammatory bowel diseases and have major benefits for public health.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-IMM-N (03))
Program Officer
Grey, Michael J
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of California San Francisco
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
San Francisco
United States
Zip Code
Kattah, Michael G; Shao, Ling; Rosli, Yenny Y et al. (2018) A20 and ABIN-1 synergistically preserve intestinal epithelial cell survival. J Exp Med 215:1839-1852
Whang, Michael I; Tavares, Rita M; Benjamin, Daniel I et al. (2017) The Ubiquitin Binding Protein TAX1BP1 Mediates Autophagasome Induction and the Metabolic Transition of Activated T Cells. Immunity 46:405-420
Onizawa, Michio; Oshima, Shigeru; Schulze-Topphoff, Ulf et al. (2015) Erratum: The ubiquitin-modifying enzyme A20 restricts ubiquitination of the kinase RIPK3 and protects cells from necroptosis. Nat Immunol 16:785
Ma, Averil (2015) From trash collectors to guardians of cell signaling and immune homeostasis. Immunol Rev 266:1-5
Duong, Bao H; Onizawa, Michio; Oses-Prieto, Juan A et al. (2015) A20 restricts ubiquitination of pro-interleukin-1? protein complexes and suppresses NLRP3 inflammasome activity. Immunity 42:55-67
Onizawa, Michio; Oshima, Shigeru; Schulze-Topphoff, Ulf et al. (2015) The ubiquitin-modifying enzyme A20 restricts ubiquitination of the kinase RIPK3 and protects cells from necroptosis. Nat Immunol 16:618-27
Tiruppathi, Chinnaswamy; Soni, Dheeraj; Wang, Dong-Mei et al. (2014) The transcription factor DREAM represses the deubiquitinase A20 and mediates inflammation. Nat Immunol 15:239-47
Hammer, Gianna Elena; Ma, Averil (2013) Molecular control of steady-state dendritic cell maturation and immune homeostasis. Annu Rev Immunol 31:743-91
Shao, Ling; Oshima, Shigeru; Duong, Bao et al. (2013) A20 restricts wnt signaling in intestinal epithelial cells and suppresses colon carcinogenesis. PLoS One 8:e62223
Garg, Abhishek V; Ahmed, Mushtaq; Vallejo, Abbe N et al. (2013) The deubiquitinase A20 mediates feedback inhibition of interleukin-17 receptor signaling. Sci Signal 6:ra44

Showing the most recent 10 out of 13 publications