CARD9 functions as a key regulator in monocyte homeostasis and pathogen clearance
Mononuclear phagocytes are designed to neutralize systemic bacterial and fungal infections. However, the exact regulation of these functions are largely unknown. CARD9 was first identified as an immune-specific adaptor protein of unclear function. Here, we have found that Card9 is specifically expressed in monocyte-origin cell populations. To better understand the biological function of Card9, we have generated Card9-deficient (Card9-/-) mice. Hematologic profiling and histological analysis of Card9-/- mice revealed a decreased leukocyte/myeloid cell count, delayed monocyte maturation in bone marrow as well as monocyte counts in the peripheral blood. Upon M-CSF stimulation, Card9-/- macrophages further exhibit a partial loss in IKK phosphorylation. As a consequence, in vivo challenge with Listeria monocytogenes in Card9-/- mice results in a higher susceptibility to infection-associated inflammation and fatality. Collectively, these data suggest that CARD9 is required for monocyte development and function. ^ At the cellular level, Card9-/- macrophages are defective in killing Listeria and the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Molecular characterizations have further demonstrated that CARD9 inducibly interacts with NOD2, controls p38 MAPK activation, and regulates ROS production during Listeria infections. Cytotrap screening showed that CARD9 could physically associate with various g&barbelow;uanine e&barbelow;xchange f&barbelow;actor (GEF) proteins that are essential for regulating ROS production. In summary, we have first identified and provided genetic evidence that CARD9 functions as a novel regulator during monocyte development and serves as an essential protein adaptor for p38 MAPK activation during bacterial clearance processes in macrophages. ^
Hsu, Yen-Michael Sheng, "CARD9 functions as a key regulator in monocyte homeostasis and pathogen clearance" (2008). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3323572.