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OP0256 Involvement of unfolded protein response and reactive oxygen species pathways in the pathogenesis of tumour necrosis factor receptor- associated periodic syndrome (TRAPS)
  1. L.J. Dickie1,
  2. A.M. Aziz1,
  3. S. Savic2,
  4. P. Emery1,
  5. D. McGonagle1,
  6. M.F. McDermott1
  1. 1Nihr-Lmbru, LIMM
  2. 2Department of Clinical Immunology and Allergy, St James’s University Hospital, Leeds, United Kingdom


Background TRAPS is caused by autosomal dominant mutations in the TNFR1 gene [1]. Many TRAPS mutations are associated with reduced cell surface TNFR1 expression leading to the proposed hypothesis of impaired receptor trafficking [2], which may cause an unfolded protein response (UPR). There are 3 main signalling cascades activated in a classical UPR through the proteins PERK, IRE1α and ATF6. Spliced XBP1 (sXBP1), downstream of IRE1α has been described to enhance TLR4 responses [3], which is of relevance to understanding TRAPS pathogenesis as patients’ cells are hyper-responsive to LPS, a TLR4 agonist [4]. Excessive reactive oxygen species (ROS) has also been linked to elevated proinflammatory cytokines in TRAPS [5].

Objectives To investigate convergence of ER stress pathways and enhanced ROS production as a disease mechanism in TRAPS.

Methods PBMC from TRAPS patients (n=16) and healthy controls (HC) (n=22) were studied alongside HEK293T cells expressing wild type (WT)-TNFR1 or TRAPS-associated mutations. UPR-associated proteins PERK, phosphorylated-PERK (p-PERK), phosphorylated-IRE1α (p-IRE1α) and sXBP1 were measured by flow cytometry. XBP1 splicing and UPR–associated transcript expression was assessed by qRT-PCR. ROS levels were measured using CM-H2DCFDA and MitoSOX Red dyes in patients’ monocytes or HEK293T cells by flow cytometry.

Results Mutant TNFR1-expressing HEK293T cells had increased TNFR1 expression associated with intracellular aggregation. TRAPS patients had increased sXBP1 transcript (p<0.01) compared to HC. Significantly increased PERK (p<0.01) and raised p-PERK protein was seen in TRAPS monocytes, yet other UPR-associated transcripts were normal. High ROS levels were observed in TRAPS monocytes compared to HC (p<0.02); these increased upon IL-6 stimulation (p<0.05) whereas HC monocytes only increased ROS in response to TNF (p<0.02). Only LPS-stimulated TRAPS PBMC demonstrated increased sXBP1 levels (p<0.01) which could be reduced with DPI antioxidant co-treatment (p<0.05).

Conclusions The TRAPS UPR was associated with increased sXBP1 and PERK but without other signs of a classical UPR, and also with high ROS generation that may contribute to the pro-inflammatory state associated with TRAPS. We propose that a UPR response, mediated by sXBP1, is a novel disease-contributing mechanism in TRAPS.

  1. McDermott MF et al. Germline mutations in the extracellular domains of the 55 kDa TNF receptor, TNFR1, define a family of dominantly inherited autoinflammatory syndromes. Cell 1999;97:133-144.

  2. Lobito AA et al. Abnormal disulfide-linked oligomerization results in ER retention and altered signaling by TNFR1 mutants in TNFR1-associated periodic fever syndrome (TRAPS). Blood 2006;108:1320-1327.

  3. Martinon F et al. TLR activation of the transcription factor XBP1 regulates innate immune responses in macrophages. Nat Immunol 2010;11:411-418.

  4. Simon A, Park H, Maddipati R, et al. Concerted action of wild-type and mutant TNF receptors enhances inflammation in TNF receptor 1-associated periodic fever syndrome. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2010;107:9801-9806.

  5. Bulua AC et al. Mitochondrial reactive oxygen species promote production of proinflammatory cytokines and are elevated in TNFR1-associated periodic syndrome (TRAPS). J Exp Med 2011;208:519-533.

Disclosure of Interest None Declared

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