Ikaros represses protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) expression through an intronic binding site [Immunology]

April 1st, 2014 by Nagpal, K., Watanabe, K. S., Tsao, B. P., Tsokos, G. C.

Protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) is a highly conserved and ubiquitous serine/threonine phosphatase. We have previously shown that PP2A expression is increased in T cells of SLE patients and this increased expression and activity of PP2A plays a central role in the molecular pathogenesis of SLE. Although the control of PP2A expression has been the focus of many studies, many aspects of its regulation still remain poorly understood. In this study, we describe a novel mechanism of PP2A regulation. We propose that the transcription factor Ikaros binds to a variant site in the first intron of PP2A and modulates its expression. Exogenous expression of Ikaros leads to reduced levels of PP2Ac message as well as protein. Conversely, siRNA enabled silencing of Ikaros enhances the expression of PP2A, suggesting that Ikaros acts as a suppressor of PP2A expression. ChIP analysis further proved that Ikaros is recruited to this site in T cells. We also attempt to delineate the mechanism of Ikaros mediated PP2Ac gene suppression. We show that Ikaros mediated suppression of PP2A expression is at least partially dependent on the recruitment of the histone deacetylase HDAC1 to this intronic site. We conclude that the transcription factor Ikaros can regulate the expression of PP2A by binding to a site in the first intron and modulating chromatin modifications at this site via recruitment of HDAC1.