• Blnk;
  • Interferon;
  • NF-kB;
  • PDC


Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (PDC) are the main type I interferon (IFN-I) producers and play a central role in innate and adaptive immunity. CD303 (BDCA-2) is a type II c-type lectin specifically expressed by human PDC. CD303 signaling induces tyrosine phosphorylation and Src kinase dependent calcium influx. Cross-linking CD303 results in the inhibition of IFN-I production in stimulated PDC. Here, we demonstrate that PDC express a signalosome similar to the BCR signalosome, consisting of Lyn, Syk, Btk, Slp65 (Blnk) and PLCγ2. CD303 associates with the signaling adapter FcR γ-chain. Triggering CD303 leads to tyrosine phosphorylation of Syk, Slp65, PLCγ2 and cytoskeletal proteins. Analogous to BCR signaling, CD303 signaling is likely linked with its internalization by clathrin-mediated endocytosis. Furthermore, CD303 signaling leads to reduced levels of transcripts for IFN-I genes and IFN-I-responsive genes, indicating that the inhibition of IFN-I production by stimulated PDC is at least partially regulated at the transcriptional level. These results support a possible therapeutic value of an anti-CD303 mAb strategy, since the production of IFN-I by PDC is considered to be a major pathophysiological factor in systemic lupus erythematosus patients.

See accompanying commentary at