High-throughput screening for TLR3-IFN regulatory factor 3 signaling pathway modulators identifies several antipsychotic drugs as TLR inhibitors

Jianzhong Zhu, Kevin Smith, Paishiun N. Hsieh, Yvonne K. Mburu, Saurabh Chattopadhyay, Ganes C. Sen, Saumendra N. Sarkar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations

Abstract

TLR3 is one of the major innate immune sensors of dsRNA. The signal transduction pathway activated by TLR3, upon binding to dsRNA, leads to the activation of two major transcription factors: NF-κB and IFN regulatory factor (IRF) 3. In an effort to identify specific chemical modulators of TLR3-IRF3 signal transduction pathway, we developed a cell-based readout system. Using the IFN-stimulated gene 56 promoter-driven firefly luciferase gene stably integrated in a TLR3-expressing HEK293 cell line, we were able to generate a cell line where treatment with dsRNA resulted in a dose-dependent induction of luciferase activity. A screen of two pharmacologically active compound libraries using this system identified a number of TLR3-IRF3 signaling pathway modulators. Among them we focused on a subset of inhibitors and characterized their mode of action. Several antipsychotic drugs, such as sertraline, trifluoperazine, and fluphenazine, were found to be direct inhibitors of the innate immune signaling pathway. These inhibitors also showed the ability to inhibit IFN-stimulated gene 56 induction mediated by TLR4 and TLR7/8 pathways. Interestingly, they did not show significant effects on TLR3-, TLR7-, and TLR8-mediated NF-κB activation. Detailed analysis of the signaling pathway indicated that these drugs might be exerting their inhibitory effects on IRF3 via PI3K signaling pathway. The data presented in this study provide mechanistic explanation of possible anti-inflammatory roles of some antipsychotic drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5768-5776
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Immunology
Volume184
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - May 15 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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