Cyclosporine A binding to COX-2 reveals a novel signaling pathway that activates the IRE1α unfolded protein response sensor


Cyclosporine, a widely used immunosuppressant in organ transplantation and in treatment of various autoimmune diseases, activates the unfolded protein response (UPR), an ER stress coping response. In this study we discovered a new and unanticipated cyclosporine-dependent signaling pathway, with cyclosporine triggering direct activation of the UPR. COX-2 binds to and activates IRE1α, leading to IRE1α splicing of XBP1 mRNA. Molecular interaction and modeling analyses identified a novel interaction site for cyclosporine with COX-2 which caused enhancement of COX-2 enzymatic activity required for activation of the IRE1α branch of the UPR. Cyclosporine-dependent activation of COX-2 and IRE1α in mice indicated that cyclosporine-COX-2-IRE1α signaling pathway was functional in vivo. These findings identify COX-2 as a new IRE1α binding partner and regulator of the IRE1α branch of the UPR pathway, and establishes the mechanism underlying cytotoxicity associated with chronic cyclosporine exposure.

Groenendyk J, Paskevicius T, Urra H, Viricel C, Wang K, Barakat K, Hetz C, Kurgan L, Agellon LB, Michalak M.

Scientific Reports (Sci Rep.)

noviembre 12, 2018

DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-34891-w

Investigador BNI: Claudio Hetz