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Title: MEK5/ERK5 signaling mediates IL-4-induced M2 macrophage differentiation through regulation of c-Myc expression
Authors: Paulo Luiz, João
Toller-Kawahisa, Juliana
Viacava, Paula
Nascimento, Daniele
Pereira, Priscilla
Luis Saraiva, André
Prado, Douglas
Le Bert, Marc
Giurisato, Emanuele 
Tournier, Cathy
Mattar Cunha, Thiago
Cunha, Fernando
Quesniaux, Valerie
Ryffel, Bernhard
Carlos Alves-Filho, José
Keywords: Macrophage polarization, M2 macrophages, IL-4, MEK5, ERK5
Issue Date: 2020
Project: None 
Macrophages are highly plastic cells, responding to diverse environmental stimuli to acquire different functional phenotypes. Signaling through mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) have been reported to regulate the differentiation of macrophages, but the role of ERK5 in IL-4-mediated M2 macrophage differentiation is still unclear. Here, we showed that the ERK5 signaling pathway plays a critical role in IL-4-induced M2 macrophage differentiation. Pharmacological inhibition of MEK5, an upstream activator of ERK5, with BIX markedly reduced the expression of classical M2 markers, such as Arg-1, Ym-1, and Fizz-1, as well as the production of M2-related chemokines and cytokines, CCL22, CCL17 and IGF-1 in IL-4-stimulated macrophages. Moreover, pharmacological inhibition of ERK5 with XMD8-92 also decreased the expression of several M2 markers induced by IL-4. In accordance, myeloid cell-specific Erk5 depletion (ERK5∆mye), using LysMcre/Erk5f/f mice, confirmed the involvement of ERK5 in IL-4-induced M2 polarization. Mechanistically, the inhibition of ERK5 did not affect STAT6 phosphorylation, suggesting that ERK5 signaling regulates M2 differentiation in a STAT6-independent manner. However, genetic deficiency or pharmacological inhibition of the MEK5/ERK5 pathway blocked the expression of c-Myc in IL-4-activated macrophages, which is a critical transcription factor involved in M2 differentiation. Our study thus suggests that the MEK5/ERK5 signaling pathway is crucial in IL-4-induced M2 macrophage differentiation through the induction of c-Myc expression.
ISSN: 0741-5400
DOI: 10.1002/JLB.1MA0520-016R
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