Species-Specific Transcriptional Regulation of Genes Involved in Nitric Oxide Production and Arginine Metabolism in Macrophages

Rachel Young, Stephen J. Bush, Lucas Lefevre, Mary E. B. Mcculloch, Zofia M. Lisowski, Charity Muriuki, Lindsey A. Waddell, Kristin A. Sauter, Clare Pridans, Emily L. Clark, David A. Hume

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Activated mouse macrophages metabolize arginine via NO synthase (NOS2) to produce NO as an antimicrobial effector. Published gene expression datasets provide little support for the activation of this pathway in human macrophages. Generation of NO requires the coordinated regulation of multiple genes. We have generated RNA-sequencing data from bone marrow–derived macrophages
from representative rodent (rat), monogastric (pig and horse), and ruminant (sheep, goat, cattle, and water buffalo) species, and analyzed the expression of genes involved in arginine metabolism in response to stimulation with LPS. In rats, as in mice, LPS strongly induced Nos2, the arginine transporter Slc7a2, arginase 1 (Arg1), GTP cyclohydrolase (Gch1), and argininosuccinate synthase (Ass1). None of these responses was conserved across species. Only cattle and water buffalo showed substantial NOS2 induction. The species studied also differed in expression and regulation of arginase (ARG2, rather than ARG1), and amino acid transporters. Variation between species was associated with rapid promoter evolution. Differential induction of NOS2 and ARG2 between the ruminant species was associated with insertions of the Bov-A2 retrotransposon in the promoter region. Bov-A2 was shown to possess LPSinducible
enhancer activity in transfected RAW264.7 macrophages. Consistent with a function in innate immunity, NO production and arginine metabolism vary greatly between species and differences may contribute to pathogen host restriction. ImmunoHorizons, 2018, 2: 27–37.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-37
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2018


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