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DOI: 10.1016/j.jcmgh.2021.09.009


Background & aims: Single immunoglobulin interleukin-1-related receptor (SIGIRR) is a major inhibitor of Toll-like receptor signaling. Our laboratory identified a novel SIGIRR stop mutation (p.Y168X) in an infant who died of severe necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). Herein, we investigated the mechanisms by which SIGIRR mutations induce Toll-like receptor hyper-responsiveness in the neonatal gut, disrupting postnatal intestinal adaptation.

Methods: Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/Cas9 was used to generate transgenic mice encoding the SIGIRR p.Y168X mutation. Ileal lysates, mouse intestinal epithelial cell (IEC) lysates, and intestinal sections were used to assess inflammation, signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) phosphorylation, microRNA (miRNA), and interleukin-1-related-associated kinase 1 (IRAK1) expression. Western blot, quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction(qRT-PCR), and luciferase assays were performed to investigate SIGIRR-STAT3 signaling in human intestinal epithelial cells (HIEC) expressing wild-type or SIGIRR (p.Y168X) plasmids.

Results: SigirrTg mice showed increased intestinal inflammation and nuclear factor-κB activation concomitant with decreased IEC expression of miR-146a and miR-155. Mechanistic studies in HIECs showed that although SIGIRR induced STAT3-mediated expression of miR-146a and miR-155, the p.Y168X mutation disrupted SIGIRR-mediated STAT3-dependent miRNA expression. Chromatin immunoprecipitation and luciferase assays showed that SIGIRR activation of STAT3-induced miRNA expression is dependent on IRAK1. Both in HIECs and in the mouse intestine, decreased expression of miR-146a observed with the p.Y168X mutation increased expression of IRAK1, a protein whose down-regulation is important for postnatal gut adaptation.

Conclusions: Our results uncover a novel pathway (SIGIRR-STAT3-miRNA-IRAK1 repression) by which SIGIRR regulates postnatal intestine adaptation, which is disrupted by a SIGIRR mutation identified in human NEC. These data provide new insights into how human genetic mutations in SIGIRR identified in NEC result in loss of postnatal intestinal immune tolerance.

Journal Title

Cell Mol Gastroenterol Hepatol





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Intestinal Inflammation; SIGIRR; STAT3; microRNA


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