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Type I interferons (IFNs) derived from plasmacytoid dendritic cells (PDCs) are critical for antiviral responses; however, the mechanisms underlying their production remain unclear. We have identified a receptor, PDC-TREM, which is associated with Plexin-A1 (PlxnA1) on the PDC cell surface and is preferentially expressed after TLR-stimulation. Limited TLR signals induced PDC-TREM expression but failed to induce IFN-alpha production. However, when coupled with Sema6D, a ligand for Plexin-A1, limited TLR-stimulation resulted in PDC-TREM-mediated DAP12-dependent phosphorylation of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) and extracellular regulated kinase (Erk) 1/2 at 6-9 h, and IFN-alpha was produced. Inhibition of PDC-TREM expression by pdctrem-shRNA, blocking of PDC-TREM-binding with PlxnA1 by PDC-TREM mAb, and DAP12 deficiency all resulted in greatly reduced PDC-TREM-dependent activation of signaling molecules and IFN-alpha production. Thus, PDC-TREM is responsible for IFN-alpha production, whereas TLR signals are essential for PDC-TREM expression.


Hiroshi Watarai, Etsuko Sekine, Sayo Inoue, Ryusuke Nakagawa, Tsuneyasu Kaisho, Masaru Taniguchi. PDC-TREM, a plasmacytoid dendritic cell-specific receptor, is responsible for augmented production of type I interferon. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2008 Feb 26;105(8):2993-8

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PMID: 18287072

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