The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a dynamic organelle that responds to demand in secretory proteins by undergoing expansion. The mechanisms that control the homeostasis of ER size and function involve the activation of the unfolded protein response (UPR). The UPR plays a role in various effector functions of immune cells. Mast cells (MCs) are highly granular tissue-resident cells and key drivers of allergic inflammation. Their diverse secretory functions in response to activation through the high-affinity receptor for IgE (FcεRI) suggest a role for the UPR in their function. Using human cord blood-derived MCs, we found that FcεRI triggering elevated the expression level and induced activation of the UPR transducers IRE1α and PERK, accompanied by expansion of the ER. In mouse bone marrow-derived MCs and peritoneal MCs, the ER underwent a more moderate expansion, and the UPR was not induced following MC activation. The deletion of IRE1α in mouse MCs did not affect proliferation, survival, degranulation, or cytokine stimulation following FcεRI triggering, but it did diminish the surface expression of TLR4 and the consequent response to LPS. A similar phenotype was observed in human MCs using an IRE1α inhibitor. Our data indicate that the ER of MCs, primarily of humans, undergoes a rapid remodeling in response to activation that promotes responses to TLR4. We suggest that IRE1α inhibition can be a strategy for inhibiting the hyperactivation of MCs by LPS over the course of allergic responses.
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- ER stress
- mast cells