Elektra K. Robinson
Profile Url: elektra-k--robinson
Researcher at University of California Santa Cruz
Macrophages and dendritic cells (DCs) are innate immune cells that play a key role in defense against pathogens. In vitro cultures of bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDMs) and dendritic cells (BMDCs) are well-established and valuable methods for immunological studies. Typically, commercially available recombinant GMCSF is utilized to generate BMDCs and is also used to culture alveolar macrophages. We have generated a new HEK-293T cell line expressing murine GM-CSF that secretes high levels of GM-CSF (~180ng/ml) into complete media as an alternative to commercial GM-CSF. Differentiation of dendritic cells and expression of various markers were kinetically assessed using the GM-CSF HEK293T cell line, termed supGM-CSF and compared directly to purified commercial GMCSF. After 7-9 days of cell culture the supGM-CSF yielded twice as many viable cells compared to the commercial purified GM-CSF. In addition to differentiating BMDCs, the supGM-CSF can be utilized to culture alveolar macrophages without an altering inflammatory activation cascade. Collectively, our results show that supernatant from our GM-CSF HEK293T cell line supports the differentiation of mouse BMDCs or alveolar macrophage culturing, providing an economical alternative to purified GM-CSF. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.
Determining the layers of gene regulation within the innate immune response is critical to our understanding of the cellular responses to infection and dysregulation in disease. We identified a conserved mechanism of gene regulation in human and mouse via changes in alternative first exon (AFE) usage following inflammation, resulting in changes to isoform usage. Of these AFE events, we identified 50 unannotated transcription start sites (TSS) in mice using Oxford Nanopore native RNA sequencing, one of which is the cytosolic receptor for dsDNA and known inflammatory inducible gene, Aim2. We show that this unannotated AFE isoform of Aim2 is the predominant isoform transcribed during inflammation and contains an iron-responsive element in its 5′UTR enabling mRNA translation to be regulated by iron levels. This work highlights the importance of examining alternative isoform changes and translational regulation in the innate immune response and uncovers novel regulatory mechanisms of Aim2. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.
Macrophages are critical cells of the innate immune system involved in the recognition and destruction of invading microbes in addition to the resolution of inflammation and maintenance of homeostasis. Understanding the genes involved in all aspects of macrophage biology is essential to gaining new insights into immune system dysregulation during diseases that range from autoinflammatory to cancer. Here we utilize high throughput clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) screening to generate a resource that identifies genes required for macrophage viability and function. First, we employ a pooled based CRISPR/Cas nuclease active screening approach to identify essential genes required for macrophage viability by targeting genes within coding exons. In addition, we also target 3’UTRs to gain insights into new cis -regulatory regions that control expression of these essential genes. Second, using our recently generated NF-κB reporter macrophage line, we perform a fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS)-based high-throughput genetic screen to identify regulators of inflammation. We identify a number of novel positive and negative regulators of the NF-κB pathway as well as unraveling complexities of the TNF signaling cascade showing it can function in an autocrine manner to negatively regulate the pathway. Utilizing a single complex library design we are capable of interrogating various aspects of macrophage biology, generating a resource for future studies. Significance Excess inflammation is associated with a variety of autoimmune diseases and cancers. Macrophages are important mediators of this inflammatory response. Defining the genes involved in their viability and effector function is needed to completely understand these two important aspects of macrophage biology. Here we screened over 21,000 genes and generated a resource guide of genes required for macrophage viability as well as novel positive and negative regulators of NF-κB signaling. We reveal important regulatory aspects of TNF signaling and showing that membrane-bound TNF primarily functions in an autocrine fashion to negatively regulate inflammation.