BANK1 Regulates IgG Production in a Lupus Model by Controlling TLR7-Dependent STAT1 Activation
The purpose of our study was to investigate the effects of the adaptor Bank1 in TLR7 signaling using the B6.Sle1.yaa mouse, a lupus model that develops disease through exacerbated TLR7 expression. Crosses of B6.Sle1.yaa with Bank1-/- mice maintained several B and myeloid cell phenotypes close to normal wild-type levels. Most striking was the reduction in total serum IgG antibodies, but not of IgM, and reduced serum levels of autoantibodies, IL-6, and BAFF. Bank1 deficiency did modify numbers of MZ B cells and total B cell numbers, as well as expression of CXCR4 by follicular helper T cells. Other T cell changes were not observed. Bank1 deficiency did not modify numbers of germinal center B cells or plasma cells or clinical disease outcomes. Purified B cells from Bank1 deficient mice had strongly reduced Ifnb, Ifna4, Irf7, Aicda and Stat1 gene expression following TLR7 agonist stimulation. Interestingly, phosphorylation of Tyr701, but not of Ser727 of STAT1, was impaired in splenic B cells from B6.Sle1.yaa.Bank1-/- mice, as was the nuclear translocation of IRF7 in response to TLR7 agonist stimulation. Further, Bank1 deficiency in B6.Sle1.yaa mice reduced the production of IgG2c after in vitro TLR7 agonist stimulation. Our results demonstrate that Bank1 controls TLR7-mediated type I interferon production. Combined with the control of the nuclear translocation of IRF7, the modulation of STAT1 transcription and phosphorylation, Bank1 contributes to IgG production during development of autoimmune disease.