SLC15A4 is a lysosome-resident, proton-coupled amino-acid transporter that moves histidine and oligopeptides from inside the lysosome to the cytosol of eukaryotic cells. SLC15A4 is required for Toll-like receptor 7 (TLR7)- and TLR9-mediated type I interferon (IFN-I) productions in plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) and is involved in the pathogenesis of certain diseases including lupus-like autoimmunity. How SLC15A4 contributes to diseases is largely unknown. Here we have shown that B cell SLC15A4 was crucial for TLR7-triggered IFN-I and autoantibody productions in a mouse lupus model. SLC15A4 loss disturbed the endolysosomal pH regulation and probably the v-ATPase integrity, and these changes were associated with disruption of the mTOR pathway, leading to failure of the IFN regulatory factor 7 (IRF7)-IFN-I regulatory circuit. Importantly, SLC15A4's transporter activity was necessary for the TLR-triggered cytokine production. Our findings revealed that SLC15A4-mediated optimization of the endolysosomal state is integral to a TLR7-triggered, mTOR-dependent IRF7-IFN-I circuit that leads to autoantibody production.
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