PU.1 and ICSBP control constitutive and IFN-γ-regulated Tlr9 gene expression in mouse macrophages

Kate Schroder, Monika Lichtinger, Katharine M. Irvine, Kristian Brion, Angela Trieu, Ian L. Ross, Timothy Ravasi, Katryn J. Stacey, Michael Rehli, David A. Hume, Matthew J. Sweet*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Macrophages are activated by unmethylated CpG-containing DNA (CpG DNA) via TLR9. IFN-γ and LPS can synergize with CpG DNA to enhance proinflammatory responses in murine macrophages. Here, we show that LPS and IFN-γ up-regulated Tlr9 mRNA in murine bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMM). The ability of LPS and IFN-γ to induce Tlr9 mRNA expression in BMM was dependent on the presence of the growth factor, CSF-1, which is constitutively present in vivo. However, there were clear differences in mechanisms of Tlr9 mRNA induction. LPS stimulation rapidly removed the CSF-1 receptor (CSF-1R) from the cell surface, thereby blocking CSF-1-mediated transcriptional repression and indirectly inducing Tlr9 mRNA expression. By contrast, IFN-γ activated the Tlr9 promoter directly and only marginally affected cell surface CSF-1R expression. An ∼100-bp proximal promoter of the murine Tlr9 gene was sufficient to confer basal and IFN-γ-inducible expression in RAW264.7 cells. A composite IFN regulatory factor (IRF)/PU.1 site upon the major transcription start site was identified. Mutation of the binding sites for PU.1 or IRF impaired basal promoter activity, but only the IRF-binding site was required for IFN-γ induction. The mRNA expression of the IRF family member IFN consensus-binding protein [(ICSBP)/IRF8] was coregulated with Tlr9 in macrophages, and constitutive and IFN-γ-inducible Tlr9 mRNA expression was reduced in ICSBP-deficient BMM. This study therefore characterizes the regulation of mouse Tlr9 expression and defines a molecular mechanism by which IFN-γ amplifies mouse macrophage responses to CpG DNA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1577-1590
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Leukocyte Biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Colony-stimulating factor-1
  • IRF8
  • Inflammation
  • Interferon
  • Lipopolysaccharide
  • Toll-like receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Cell Biology


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