Calcineurin-mediated YB-1 dephosphorylation regulates CCL5 expression during monocyte differentiation [Gene Regulation]

June 19th, 2014 by Alidousty, C., Rauen, T., Hanssen, L., Wang, Q., Alampour-Rajabi, S., Mertens, P. R., Bernhagen, J., Floege, J., Ostendorf, T., Raffetseder, U.

Y-box (YB) protein-1 serves as a master regulator in gene transcription and mRNA translation. YB-1 itself is regulated at various levels, e.g. through post-translational modifications. In our previous work, we identified RANTES/CCL5 as a transcrip-tional target of YB-1. We previously demonstrated that YB-1 protein is transiently up-regulated during monocyte/macrophage differentiation evidenced in monocytic cells (THP-1 cells) that were differentiated using phorbol myristate acetate (PMA). Here we provide evidence that YB-1 phosphorylation, specifically at its serine residue 102 (S102), increases early on in THP-1 cells following PMA treatment as well as in differentiated primary human monocytes. This process is mediated through the Akt signaling pathway. S102-phosphorylated YB-1 displays stronger binding affinity and trans-activating capacity at the CCL5 gene promoter. Notably, S102-phosphorylated YB-1 disappears at later stages of the monocyte/macrophage differen-tiation process. We demonstrate that serine-threonine phosphatase calcineurin (CN) dephosphorylates YB-1 preventing it from binding to and trans-activating the CCL5 promoter. Co-immunoprecipitation assays prove a direct YB-1/CN interaction. Furthermore, analyses in kidney tissues from mice that were treated with the CN inhibitor cyclosporine A revealed an in vivo effect of CN on the YB-1 phosphorylation status. We conclude that YB-1 phosphorylation at S102 is an important prerequisite for CCL5 promoter activation during macrophage differentiation. Our findings point to a critical role of YB-1 in the resolution of inflammatory processes which may largely be due to CN-mediated dephosphorylation.