Ubiquitin Ligases CBL and CBL-B Maintain the Homeostasis and Immune Quiescence of Dendritic Cells

Haijun Tong, Xin Li, Jinping Zhang, Liying Gong, Weili Sun, Virginie Calderon, Xiaochen Zhang, Yue Li, Adeline Gadzinski, Wallace Y. Langdon, Boris Reizis, Yongrui Zou, Hua Gu

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    Dendritic cells (DCs) are composed of multiple lineages of hematopoietic cells and orchestrate immune responses upon detecting the danger and inflammatory signals associated with pathogen and damaged tissues. Under steady-state, DCs are maintained at limited numbers and the functionally quiescent status. While it is known that a fine balance in the DC homeostasis and activation status is also important to prevent autoimmune diseases and hyperinflammation, mechanisms that control DC development and activation under stead-state remain not fully understood. Here we show that DC-specific ablation of CBL and CBL-B (CBL-/-CBL-B-/-) leads to spontaneous liver inflammation and fibrosis and early death of the mice. The mutant mice have a marked expansion of classic CD8α+/CD103+ DCs (cDC1s) in peripheral lymphoid organs and the liver. These DCs exhibit atypical activation phenotypes characterized by an increased production of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines but not the cell surface MHC-II and costimulatory ligands. While the mutant mice also have massive T cell activation, lymphocytes are not required for the disease development. The CBL-/-CBL-B-/- mutation enhances FLT3-mTOR signaling, due to defective FLT3 ubiquitination and degradation. Blockade of FLT3-mTOR signaling normalizes the homeostasis of cDC1s and attenuates liver inflammation. Our result thus reveals a critical role of CBLs in the maintenance of DC homeostasis and immune quiescence. This regulation could be relevant to liver inflammatory diseases and fibrosis in humans.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number757231
    JournalFrontiers in Immunology
    Publication statusPublished - 23 Sept 2021


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