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Disrupting the CD95-PLCγ1 interaction prevents Th17-driven inflammation

Published on november 22nd, 2018 by Patrick Legembre

ABSTRACT: CD95L is a transmembrane ligand (m-CD95L) that is cleaved by metalloproteases to release a soluble ligand (s-CD95L). Unlike m-CD95L, interaction between s-CD95L and CD95 fails to recruit caspase-8 and FADD to trigger apoptosis but instead induces a Ca2+ response via docking of PLCg1 to the calcium-inducing domain (CID) within CD95. This signaling pathway induces accumulation of inflammatory Th17 cells in damaged organs of lupus patients, thereby aggravating disease pathology. A large-scale screen revealed that the HIV protease inhibitor ritonavir is a potent disruptor of the CD95/PLCg1 interaction. A structure-activity relationship approach highlighted that ritonavir is a peptidomimetic that shares structural characteristics with CID with respect to docking to PLCg1. Thus, we synthesized CID peptidomimetics abrogating both the CD95-driven Ca2+ response and transmigration of Th17 cells. Injection of ritonavir and the CID peptidomimetic into lupus mice alleviated clinical symptoms, opening a new avenue for the generation of drugs for lupus patients.