Publications | Comprehensive proteomics analyses identify PIM kinases as key regulators of IL-15 driven activation of intestinal intraepithelial lymphocytes

Intestinal intraepithelial lymphocytes (IEL) are an abundant population of tissue-resident T cells that protect the gut from pathogens and maintain intestinal homeostasis. The cytokine IL-15 is transpresented by epithelial cells to IEL in complex with the IL-15 receptor α chain (IL-15Rα). It plays essential roles both in maintaining IEL homeostasis, and in inducing IEL activation in response to epithelial stress. IL-15 overexpression also drives the gluten-induced enteropathy Coeliac disease, through cytotoxic activation of IEL. In order to better understand how IL-15 directly regulates both homeostatic and inflammatory functions of IEL, we set up quantitative proteomics of IL-15/Rα stimulated IEL. We reveal that high IL-15/Rα stimulation licenses cell cycle activation, upregulates the biosynthetic machinery in IEL, increases mitochondrial respiratory capacity and induces expression of cell surface immune receptors and adhesion proteins that potentially drive IEL activation. We find that high IL-15/Rα selectively upregulated the Ser/Thr kinases PIM1 and PIM2 and demonstrate that PIM1/2 are essential for IEL to proliferate, grow, and upregulate Granzyme B in response to high IL-15. Significantly, IEL from Coeliac disease patients express high levels of PIM kinases. These unexpected findings reveal PIM kinases to be key determinants of IEL responses to elevated levels of IL-15.
Selected Publication
PI Chosen Publication
James OJ, Vandereyken M, Marchingo JM, Singh F, Love AG, Swamy M
bioRxiv preprint

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