Regulation of type I interferon responses by mitochondria-derived reactive oxygen species in plasmacytoid dendritic cells

Zsofia Agod, Tünde Fekete, Marietta M. Budai, Aliz Varga, Attila Szabo, Hyelim Moon, Istvan Boldogh, Tamas Biro, Arpad Lanyi, Attila Bacsi, Kitti Pazmandi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (mtROS) generated continuously under physiological conditions have recently emerged as critical players in the regulation of immune signaling pathways. In this study we have investigated the regulation of antiviral signaling by increased mtROS production in plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs), which, as major producers of type I interferons (IFN), are the key coordinators of antiviral immunity. The early phase of type I IFN production in pDCs is mediated by endosomal Toll-like receptors (TLRs), whereas the late phase of IFN response can also be triggered by cytosolic retinoic acid-inducible gene-I (RIG-I), expression of which is induced upon TLR stimulation. Therefore, pDCs provide an ideal model to study the impact of elevated mtROS on the antiviral signaling pathways initiated by receptors with distinct subcellular localization. We found that elevated level of mtROS alone did not change the phenotype and the baseline cytokine profile of resting pDCs. Nevertheless increased mtROS levels in pDCs lowered the TLR9-induced secretion of pro-inflammatory mediators slightly, whereas reduced type I IFN production markedly via blocking phosphorylation of interferon regulatory factor 7 (IRF7), the key transcription factor of the TLR9 signaling pathway. The TLR9-induced expression of RIG-I in pDCs was also negatively regulated by enhanced mtROS production. On the contrary, elevated mtROS significantly augmented the RIG-I-stimulated expression of type I IFNs, as well as the expression of mitochondrial antiviral-signaling (MAVS) protein and the phosphorylation of Akt and IRF3 that are essential components of RIG-I signaling. Collectively, our data suggest that increased mtROS exert diverse immunoregulatory functions in pDCs both in the early and late phase of type I IFN responses depending on which type of viral sensing pathway is stimulated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)633-645
Number of pages13
JournalRedox Biology
StatePublished - Oct 2017


  • Antiviral response
  • Endosomal TLR signaling
  • Mitochondrial ROS
  • Plasmacytoid dendritic cell
  • RIG-I signaling
  • Type I interferon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry


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