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Relationship: 1508

Title

The title of the KER should clearly define the two KEs being considered and the sequential relationship between them (i.e., which is upstream and which is downstream). Consequently all KER titles take the form “upstream KE leads to downstream KE”.  More help

Inhibition, Calcineurin Activity leads to Interference, nuclear localization of NFAT

Upstream event
Upstream event in the Key Event Relationship. On the KER page, clicking on the Event name under Upstream Relationship will bring the user to that individual KE page. More help
Downstream event
Downstream event in the Key Event Relationship. On the KER page, clicking on the Event name under Upstream Relationship will bring the user to that individual KE page. More help

Key Event Relationship Overview

The utility of AOPs for regulatory application is defined, to a large extent, by the confidence and precision with which they facilitate extrapolation of data measured at low levels of biological organisation to predicted outcomes at higher levels of organisation and the extent to which they can link biological effect measurements to their specific causes. Within the AOP framework, the predictive relationships that facilitate extrapolation are represented by the KERs. Consequently, the overall WoE for an AOP is a reflection in part, of the level of confidence in the underlying series of KERs it encompasses. Therefore, describing the KERs in an AOP involves assembling and organising the types of information and evidence that defines the scientific basis for inferring the probable change in, or state of, a downstream KE from the known or measured state of an upstream KE. More help

AOPs Referencing Relationship

This table is automatically generated upon addition of a KER to an AOP. All of the AOPs that are linked to this KER will automatically be listed in this subsection. Clicking on the name of the AOP in the table will bring you to the individual page for that AOP. More help
AOP Name Adjacency Weight of Evidence Quantitative Understanding Point of Contact Author Status OECD Status
Inhibition of Calcineurin Activity Leading to Impaired T-Cell Dependent Antibody Response adjacent Moderate Moderate Takumi Ohishi (send email) Open for comment. Do not cite WPHA/WNT Endorsed

Taxonomic Applicability

Select one or more structured terms that help to define the biological applicability domain of the KER. In general, this will be dictated by the more restrictive of the two KEs being linked together by the KER. Authors can indicate the relevant taxa for this KER in this subsection. The process is similar to what is described for KEs (see pages 30-31 and 37-38 of User Handbook) More help
Term Scientific Term Evidence Link
Homo sapiens Homo sapiens Moderate NCBI
Mus musculoides Mus musculoides Moderate NCBI

Sex Applicability

Authors can indicate the relevant sex for this KER in this subsection. The process is similar to what is described for KEs (see pages 31-32 of the User Handbook). More help
Sex Evidence
Unspecific High

Life Stage Applicability

Authors can indicate the relevant life stage for this KER in this subsection. The process is similar to what is described for KEs (see pages 31-32 of User Handbook). More help
Term Evidence
All life stages High

Key Event Relationship Description

Provide a brief, descriptive summation of the KER. While the title itself is fairly descriptive, this section can provide details that aren’t inherent in the description of the KEs themselves (see page 39 of the User Handbook). This description section can be viewed as providing the increased specificity in the nature of upstream perturbation (KEupstream) that leads to a particular downstream perturbation (KEdownstream), while allowing the KE descriptions to remain generalised so they can be linked to different AOPs. The description is also intended to provide a concise overview for readers who may want a brief summation, without needing to read through the detailed support for the relationship (covered below). Careful attention should be taken to avoid reference to other KEs that are not part of this KER, other KERs or other AOPs. This will ensure that the KER is modular and can be used by other AOPs. More help

The phosphatase activity of calcineurin (CN) is known to be inhibited by CN inhibitors (CNIs) such as FK506 and cyclosporin A (CsA) through the formation of complexes with immunophilins.

Immunophilins of FK506-binding protein (FKBP) and cyclophilin bind with CNIs FK506 and CsA to form complexes, which inhibit CN activity (Barik. 2006).

While FKBP12, FKBP12.6, FKBP13, and FKBP52 are all part of the FK506-binding FKBP family, FKBP12 has a significant involvement in the mechanism of action for FK506-induced immunosuppression (Siekierka et al. 1989, Kang et al. 2008).

FKBP12 is a 12-kDa protein localized in cytoplasm and has been isolated from Jurkat T-cells as a receptor that binds to FK506 (Bram et al. 1993). FKBP12 has an FK506-binding domain (FKBD) that comprises 108 amino acids, and is expressed in T cells, B cells, Langerhans cells, and mast cells (Siekierka et al. 1990, Panhans-Gross et al. 2001, Hultsch et al. 1991).

Cyclophilin and FKBP both exhibit peptidyl propyl isomerase (PPIase) activity, but inhibition of PPIase activity is not related  to CN regulation.

CN is a heterodimer that comprises a catalytic subunit (CnA) and a Ca-binding regulatory subunit (CnB). CnA handles phosphatase activity as well as calmodulin binding, and CnB regulates intracellular calcium and CnA (Klee et al. 1988, Zhang et al. 1996). CnA is a 59kDa protein with a serine-threonine phosphatase domain.

CNI-immunophilin complexes such as FK506/FKBP complexes and cyclophilin/CsA complexes bind directly to CnA in the cell, causing steric hindrance of substrate binding to CN, which in turn inhibits phosphatase activity of CN (Schreiber and Crabtree 1992, Liu et al. 1993, Bierer et al. 1993, Bram et al. 1993, Rao et al. 1997, Liu et al. 1991).

The nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) is a substrate of CN (Rao et al. 1997).

When T-cell activation takes place, T-cell–receptor-mediated stimulus increases the intracellular concentration of calcium and activates CnB, which subsequently induces CnA phosphatase activation, leading to dephosphorylation of NFAT. In that process, dephosphorylated SP motifs expose the nuclear localization signal (NLS) and cover nuclear export signal (NES), thereby promoting nuclear localization of NFAT (Matsuda and Koyasu 2000, Zhu and McKeon 1999).

When CN activity is inhibited by the binding of immunophilin complexes, dephosphorylation does not occur in NFAT, thereby resulting in nuclear export.

Evidence Supporting this KER

Assembly and description of the scientific evidence supporting KERs in an AOP is an important step in the AOP development process that sets the stage for overall assessment of the AOP (see pages 49-56 of the User Handbook). To do this, biological plausibility, empirical support, and the current quantitative understanding of the KER are evaluated with regard to the predictive relationships/associations between defined pairs of KEs as a basis for considering WoE (page 55 of User Handbook). In addition, uncertainties and inconsistencies are considered. More help
Biological Plausibility
Define, in free text, the biological rationale for a connection between KEupstream and KEdownstream. What are the structural or functional relationships between the KEs? For example, there is a functional relationship between an enzyme’s activity and the product of a reaction it catalyses. Supporting references should be included. However, it is recognised that there may be cases where the biological relationship between two KEs is very well established, to the extent that it is widely accepted and consistently supported by so much literature that it is unnecessary and impractical to cite the relevant primary literature. Citation of review articles or other secondary sources, like text books, may be reasonable in such cases. The primary intent is to provide scientifically credible support for the structural and/or functional relationship between the pair of KEs if one is known. The description of biological plausibility can also incorporate additional mechanistic details that help inform the relationship between KEs, this is useful when it is not practical/pragmatic to represent these details as separate KEs due to the difficulty or relative infrequency with which it is likely to be measured (see page 40 of the User Handbook for further information).   More help

The molecular structures and functions of CN and NFAT are based on sufficient scientific evidence as mentioned above The known mechanisms for inhibition of CN phosphatase activity by FK506, CsA, or other CNIs are initiated by the formation of complexes with their respective immunophilin species. Immunophilins are general classes of proteins that exhibit PPlase activity, but the isomerase activity per se is not relevant for CN activity indicating that the latter is affected by the molecular structure of the complex (Schreiber and Crabtree 1992, Liu et al. 1993, Bierer et al. 1993, Bram et al. 1993, Rao et al. 1997, Liu et al. 1991).

As mentioned above, inhibition of CN phosphatase activity interferes with the dephosphorylation of NFAT, which leads to the suppression of its nuclear localization.

Uncertainties and Inconsistencies
In addition to outlining the evidence supporting a particular linkage, it is also important to identify inconsistencies or uncertainties in the relationship. Additionally, while there are expected patterns of concordance that support a causal linkage between the KEs in the pair, it is also helpful to identify experimental details that may explain apparent deviations from the expected patterns of concordance. Identification of uncertainties and inconsistencies contribute to evaluation of the overall WoE supporting the AOPs that contain a given KER and to the identification of research gaps that warrant investigation (seep pages 41-42 of the User Handbook).Given that AOPs are intended to support regulatory applications, AOP developers should focus on those inconsistencies or gaps that would have a direct bearing or impact on the confidence in the KER and its use as a basis for inference or extrapolation in a regulatory setting. Uncertainties that may be of academic interest but would have little impact on regulatory application don’t need to be described. In general, this section details evidence that may raise questions regarding the overall validity and predictive utility of the KER (including consideration of both biological plausibility and empirical support). It also contributes along with several other elements to the overall evaluation of the WoE for the KER (see Section 4 of the User Handbook).  More help

CN and NFAT are expressed in T cells and other immune cells including B cells, DC, and NKT cells and related to cytokine productions from these immune cells. Also, expression of IL-2 receptors (IL-2R) in DCs are lowered due to the inhibition of CN phosphatase activity by CNI treatment. Of these, reduced production of IL-2 and IL-4 from T cells plays a major role in suppression of TDAR due to lower proliferation, differentiation, and class switching of B cells. There have been no reports of CNI-induced reduction of cytokines other than IL-2 and IL-4 or reduced expression of IL-2R resulting in TDAR suppression.

FKBP12, a specific immunophilin that binds with FK506, is also an accessory molecule that binds to IP3 and Ryanodine receptors, both of which occur in Ca channels located on the membrane of the endoplasmic reticulum and participate in the regulation of intracellular Ca concentration. When binding with FK506, FKBP12 leaves these receptors to increase the influx of Ca2+ from the endoplasmic reticulum to cytoplasm, which should increase CN activity. Treatment with FK506, however, suppresses NFAT nuclear localization. In addition, FKBP12-knock out mice show no changes in immune function, including T-cell function. These facts suggest that the inhibition of CN-NFAT systems induced by FK506 treatment results from direct inhibition of CN phosphatase activity by FK506/FKBP12 complexes and not by affecting Ryanodine and IP3 receptors associated with FKBP12.

Response-response Relationship
This subsection should be used to define sources of data that define the response-response relationships between the KEs. In particular, information regarding the general form of the relationship (e.g., linear, exponential, sigmoidal, threshold, etc.) should be captured if possible. If there are specific mathematical functions or computational models relevant to the KER in question that have been defined, those should also be cited and/or described where possible, along with information concerning the approximate range of certainty with which the state of the KEdownstream can be predicted based on the measured state of the KEupstream (i.e., can it be predicted within a factor of two, or within three orders of magnitude?). For example, a regression equation may reasonably describe the response-response relationship between the two KERs, but that relationship may have only been validated/tested in a single species under steady state exposure conditions. Those types of details would be useful to capture.  More help

MIE:

Dose-response analysis of the effects of FK506 on CN phosphatase activity in mast cell-derived KiSVMC4W cells transfected with human FKBP12 cDNA showed that increased expression of FKBP12 resulted in a greater than ten-fold increase in sensitivity to FK506-mediated inhibition, as indicated by an IC50 value of roughly 2 nM with linear inverse dose-response curve after 1 hour incuvation (Fruman et al.1995). Another phosphatase assay showed that FK506 inhibition of CN activity was concentration-dependent reverse sigmoidal and that IC50 values for CN inhibition were approximately 0.5 nM for FK 506 and 5 nM for CsA after 1 hour culture (Fruman et al.1992).

KE1:

Dose-dependent interference with nuclear translocation of NFAT1 was observed with increasing CNI concentrations from 0.1 nM (Jurkat human T cells) up to 1 μM (1000 nM) using imaging flowcytometry. Higher concentrations induced cellular toxicity and resulted in cell death. Dose-dependent interference of nuclear NFAT1 translocation per CN inhibition was also observed in CD4+ T cells from healthy donors, again at maximal concentrations of 1 μM with minimum concentration of 10nM (Maguire et al. 2013).

So far, there is no evidence available that the dose response of inhibition of CN phosphatase activity is correlated with nuclear translocation of NFAT; however, the concentration ranges of CNIs for inhibition of CN phosphatase activity and nuclear translocation of NFAT seem to be the same range.

Time-scale
This sub-section should be used to provide information regarding the approximate time-scale of the changes in KEdownstream relative to changes in KEupstream (i.e., do effects on KEdownstream lag those on KEupstream by seconds, minutes, hours, or days?). This can be useful information both in terms of modelling the KER, as well as for analyzing the critical or dominant paths through an AOP network (e.g., identification of an AO that could kill an organism in a matter of hours will generally be of higher priority than other potential AOs that take weeks or months to develop). Identification of time-scale can also aid the assessment of temporal concordance. For example, for a KER that operates on a time-scale of days, measurement of both KEs after just hours of exposure in a short-term experiment could lead to incorrect conclusions regarding dose-response or temporal concordance if the time-scale of the upstream to downstream transition was not considered. More help

Inhibition of CN phosphatase activity was examined after 1 hour culture of T cells (Fruman et al.1995, Fruman et al.1992), and inhibition of nuclear translocation of NFAT was measured by imaging flowcytometry after 2 hour culture of T cells with CNI (Maguire et al. 2013).

Known modulating factors
This sub-section presents information regarding modulating factors/variables known to alter the shape of the response-response function that describes the quantitative relationship between the two KEs (for example, an iodine deficient diet causes a significant increase in the slope of the relationship; a particular genotype doubles the sensitivity of KEdownstream to changes in KEupstream). Information on these known modulating factors should be listed in this subsection, along with relevant information regarding the manner in which the modulating factor can be expected to alter the relationship (if known). Note, this section should focus on those modulating factors for which solid evidence supported by relevant data and literature is available. It should NOT list all possible/plausible modulating factors. In this regard, it is useful to bear in mind that many risk assessments conducted through conventional apical guideline testing-based approaches generally consider few if any modulating factors. More help

At present, no evidence is found.

Known Feedforward/Feedback loops influencing this KER
This subsection should define whether there are known positive or negative feedback mechanisms involved and what is understood about their time-course and homeostatic limits? In some cases where feedback processes are measurable and causally linked to the outcome, they should be represented as KEs. However, in most cases these features are expected to predominantly influence the shape of the response-response, time-course, behaviours between selected KEs. For example, if a feedback loop acts as compensatory mechanism that aims to restore homeostasis following initial perturbation of a KE, the feedback loop will directly shape the response-response relationship between the KERs. Given interest in formally identifying these positive or negative feedback, it is recommended that a graphical annotation (page 44) indicating a positive or negative feedback loop is involved in a particular upstream to downstream KE transition (KER) be added to the graphical representation, and that details be provided in this subsection of the KER description (see pages 44-45 of the User Handbook).  More help

At present, no evidence is found.

Domain of Applicability

As for the KEs, there is also a free-text section of the KER description that the developer can use to explain his/her rationale for the structured terms selected with regard to taxonomic, life stage, or sex applicability, or provide a more generalizable or nuanced description of the applicability domain than may be feasible using standardized terms. More help

CN is broadly distributed throughout the body, and the structure of CnA and CnB is highly conserved from yeasts to humans (Kincaid. 1993).

NFAT expresses in B cells, mast cells, neutrophils, granulocytes, dendritic cells, macrophages, and natural killer cells as well as T cells from humans, rodents and other mammalian species (Rao et al. 1997).

FKBP is found in a wide variety of organisms, from prokaryotes to multicellular organisms (Siekierka et al. 1989). Multiple subfamilies of FKBP have been reported, with at least eight types having been found in mammals. FKBP12 is reported to be expressed in B-cells, Langerhans cells, and mast cells as well as in T-cells of humans, mice and other mammalian species.

Cyclophilins have been found in mammals, plants, insects, fungi and bacteria. They are structurally conserved throughout evolution and all have PPIase activity (Wang P et al. 2005). They form binary complexes with their ligand cyclosporine A.

These facts indicate that CN and immunophilins are conserved among animals and plants although they show multiple physiological functions.

In addition, CNI/immunophilin complex-induced inhibition of CN phosphatase activity resulting in suppression of immune responses is found in humans and mice.

References

List of the literature that was cited for this KER description using the appropriate format. Ideally, the list of references should conform, to the extent possible, with the OECD Style Guide (OECD, 2015). More help
  1. Barik, S. (2006). Immunophilins: for the love of proteins. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences 63(24): 2889-900.
  2. Bierer, B.E., Holländer, G., Fruman, D. and Burakoff, S.J. (1993). Cyclosporin A and FK506: molecular mechanisms of immunosuppression and probes for transplantation biology. Current opinion in immunology 5 (5): 763-73.
  3. Bram, R.J., Hung, D.T., Martin, P.K., Schreiber, S.L. and Crabtree, G.R. (1993). Identification of the immunophilins capable of mediating inhibition of signal transduction by cyclosporin A and FK506: roles of calcimeurin binding and cellular location. Molecular and cellular biology 13 (8): 4760-9.
  4. Flanagan, W.M., Corthésy, B., Bram, R.J. and Crabtree, G.R. (1991). Nuclear association of a T-cell transcription factor blocked by FK-506 and cyclosporin A. Nature 352 (6338): 803-7.
  5. Fruman, D. A., Klee, C. B., Bierer, B. E. and Burakoff, S. J. (1992). Calcineurin phosphatase activity in T lymphocytes is inhibited by FK 506 and cyclosporin A. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 89(9):3686-90.
  6. Fruman, D. A., Bierer, B. E., Benes, J. E., Burakoff, S. J., Austen, K. F. and Katz, H. R. (1995). The complex of FK506-binding protein 12 and FK506 inhibits calcineurin phosphatase activity and IgE activation-induced cytokine transcripts, but not exocytosis, in mouse mast cells. Journal of Immunology.154(4):1846-51.
  7. Hultsch, T., Albers, M. W., Schreiber, S.L. and Hohman, R. J. (1991). Immunophilin ligands demonstrate common features of signal transduction leading to exocytosis or transcription. Proceedings of the national academic science of the United States of America. 14: 6229-6233.
  8. Kang, C. B., Hong, Y., Dhe-Paganon, S. and Yoon, H. S. (2008). FKBP family proteins: immunophilins with versatile biological functions. Neurosignals. 16: 318-325.
  9. Kincaid, R .L. (1993). Calmodulin-dependent protein phosphatases from microorganisms to man. A study in structural conservatism and biological diversity. Adv Second Messenger Phosphoprotein Res. 27:1-23.
  10. Klee, C. B., Draetta, G. F. and Hubbard, M. J. (1988). Calcineurin. Advances in enzymology and related areas of molecular biology. 61:149-200.
  11. Liu, J., Farmer, J. D. Jr., Lane, W. S., Friedman, J., Weissman, I. and Schreiber, S. L. (1991). Calcineurin is a common target of cyclophilin-cyclosporin A and FKBP-FK506 complexes. Cell. 66(4): 807-815.
  12. Liu, J., Albers, M. W., Wandless, T. J., Luan, S., Alberg, D. G., Belshaw, P. J., Cohen, P., MacKintosh, C., Klee, C. B. and Schreiber, S.L.. (1992). Inhibition of T cell signaling by immunophilin-ligand complexes correlates with loss of calcineurin phosphatase activity. Biochemistry. 31(16):3896-901.
  13. Liu, J. (1993). FK506 and cyclosporin, molecular probes for studying intracellular signal transduction. Immunology today. 14(6): 290-305.
  14. Maguire O, Tornatore KM, O'Loughlin KL, Venuto RC and Minderman H. (2013) Nuclear translocation of nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) as a quantitative pharmacodynamic parameter for tacrolimus. Cytometry A. 83(12):1096-104.
  15. Matsuda, S., Koyasu, S. (2000). A second target of cyclosporin A and FK506. Tanpakushitsu kakusan koso. 45(11): 1823-1831.
  16. Panhans-Gross, A., Novak, N., Kraft, S. and Bieber, T. (2001). Human epidermal Langerhans' cells are targets for the immunosuppressive macrolide tacrolimus (FK506). Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 107(2): 345-52.
  17. Rao, A., Luo, C. and Hogan, PG. (1997). Transcription factors of the NFAT family: regulation and function. Annual Review of Immunology 15: 707-47.
  18. Schreiber, SL. and Crabtree, GR. (1992). The mechanism of action of cyclosporin A and FK506. Immunology Today 13(4): 136-42. >
  19. Siekierka, JJ., Hung, SH., Poe, M., Lin, CS. and Sigal, NH. (1989). A cytosolic binding protein for the immunosuppressant FK506 has peptidyl-prolyl isomerase activity but is distinct from cyclophilin. Nature 341(6244): 755-57.
  20. Siekierka, JJ., Wiederrecht, G., Greulich, H., Boulton, D., Hung, SH., Cryan, J., Hodges, PJ. and Sigal, NH. (1990). The cytosolic-binding protein for the immunosuppressant FK-506 is both a ubiquitous and highly conserved peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerase. Journal of Biological Chemistry 265(34): 21011-5.
  21. Wang, P. and Heitman, J. (2005) The cyclophilins. Genome Biology 6 (7):226.
  22. Zhang, B.W., Zimmer, G., Chen, J., Ladd, D., Li, E., Alt, F.W., Wiederrecht, G., Cryan, J., O'Neill, E.A., Seidman, C.E., Abbas, A.K. and Seidman, J.G. (1996). T cell responses in calcineurin A alpha-deficient mice. Journal of experimental medicine 183(2): 413-20.
  23. Zhu, J. and McKeon, F. (1999). NF-AT activation requires suppression of Crm1-dependent export by calcineurin. Nature. 398(6724): 256-60.