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Suppression of immune responses by nonimmunogenic oligodeoxynucleotides with high affinity for high-mobility group box proteins (HMGBs)

Yanai, Hideyuki, Chiba, Shiho, Ban, Tatsuma, Nakaima, Yukana, Onoe, Takashi, Honda, Kenya, Ohdan, Hideki, Taniguchi, Tadatsugu
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2011 v.108 no.28 pp. 11542-11547
Toll-like receptors, adaptive immunity, animal models, autoimmunity, binding capacity, immune response, innate immunity, nucleic acids, nucleotide sequences, oligodeoxyribonucleotides, pathogens, sepsis (infection)
The activation of innate immune responses by nucleic acids is central to the generation of host responses against pathogens; however, nucleic acids can also trigger the development and/or exacerbation of pathogenic responses such as autoimmunity. We previously demonstrated that the selective activation of nucleic acid-sensing cytosolic and Toll-like receptors is contingent on the promiscuous sensing of nucleic acids by high-mobility group box proteins (HMGBs). From this, we reasoned that nonimmunogenic nucleotides with high-affinity HMGB binding may function as suppressing agents for HMGB-mediated diseases, particularly those initiated and/or exacerbated by nucleic acids. Here we characterize an array of HMGB-binding, nonimmunogenic oligodeoxynucleotides (ni-ODNs). Interestingly, we find that binding affinity is rather independent of nucleotide sequence, but is instead dependent on length and structure of the deoxyribose backbone. We further show that these ni-ODNs can strongly suppress the activation of innate immune responses induced by both classes of nucleic acid-sensing receptors. We also provide evidence for the suppressive effect of an ni-ODN, termed ISM ODN, on the induction of adaptive immune responses and in mouse models of sepsis and autoimmunity. We discuss our findings in relation to the critical role of HMGBs in initiating immune responses and the possible use of these ni-ODNs in therapeutic interventions.