Transcriptional Interactomic Inhibition of RORα Suppresses Th17-Related Inflammation

Chun Chang Ho, Giha Kim, Chin Hee Mun, Ju Won Kim, Jieun Han, Ji Yoon Park, Yong Beom Park, Sang Kyou Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose: Th17 cells and their cytokines are implicated in the pathogenesis of various autoimmune diseases. Retinoic acid-related orphan receptor alpha (RORα) is a transcription factor for the differentiation and the inflammatory functions of Th17 cells. In this study, we generated the nucleus-transducible form of transcription modulation domain of RORα (nt-RORα-TMD) to investigate the functional roles of RORα in vitro and in vivo under normal physiological condition without genetic alteration. Methods: The functions of nt-RORα-TMD were analyzed in vitro through flow cytometry, luciferase assay, ELISA, and transcriptome sequencing. Finally, the in vivo therapeutic effects of nt-RORα-TMD were verified in dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis mice. Results: nt-RORα-TMD was effectively delivered into the cell nucleus in a dose-and time-dependent manner without any cellular toxicity. nt-RORα-TMD competitively inhibited the RORα-mediated transcription but not RORγt-mediated transcription. Secretion of IL-17A from the splenocytes was suppressed by nt-RORα-TMD without affecting the secretion of Th1-or Th2-type cytokine and T cell activation events such as induction of CD69 and CD25. The differentiation potential of naïve T cells into Th17 cells, not into Th1, Th2, or Treg cells, was significantly blocked by nt-RORα-TMD. Consistently, mRNA sequencing analysis showed that nt-RORα-TMD treatment down-regulated the expression of the genes related to the differentiation and functions of Th17 cells. Treatment of DSS-induced colitis mice with nt-RORα-TMD improved the overall symptoms of colitis, such as body weight change, colon length, infiltration of inflammatory cells, and the level of inflammatory cytokines in the serum. In the mesenteric lymph node (MLN) of the nt-RORα-TMD-treated mice, the population of CD4+IL-17A+ Th17 cells was reduced, and the population of CD4+Foxp3+ Treg cells increased. Conclusion: nt-RORα-TMD has a potential to be developed as a novel therapeutic reagent for treating various inflammatory diseases in which Th17 cells are the leading pathological player.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7091-7105
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Inflammation Research
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a Global Research Laboratory (GRL) Program of the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean government (MSIP) (NRF-2016K1A1A2912755) and a Basic Science Research Program of the NRF grant funded by the Ministry of Education (2019R1I1A1A01064332), and the Brain Korea 21 (BK21) PLUS Program, Republic of Korea.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Ho et al.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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