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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2017, Article ID 1248201, 15 pages
Research Article

ZNF395 Is an Activator of a Subset of IFN-Stimulated Genes

Institute of Virology, University of Cologne, Fürst-Pückler-Strasse 56, 50935 Cologne, Germany

Correspondence should be addressed to Gertrud Steger; ed.nleok-inu@regets.durtreg

Received 28 October 2016; Accepted 5 January 2017; Published 21 February 2017

Academic Editor: Anshu Agrawal

Copyright © 2017 Linda Schroeder et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Activation of the interferon (IFN) pathway in response to infection with pathogens results in the induction of IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs) including proinflammatory cytokines, which mount the proper antiviral immune response. However, aberrant expression of these genes is pathogenic to the host. In addition to IFN-induced transcription factors non-IFN-regulated factors contribute to the transcriptional control of ISGs. Here, we show by genome wide expression analysis, siRNA-mediated suppression and Doxycycline-induced overexpression that the cellular transcription factor ZNF395 activates a subset of ISGs including the chemokines CXCL10 and CXCL11 in keratinocytes. We found that ZNF395 acts independently of IFN but enhances the IFN-induced expression of CXCL10 and CXCL11. Luciferase reporter assays revealed a requirement of intact NFκB-binding sites for ZNF395 to stimulate the CXCL10 promoter. The transcriptional activation of CXCL10 and CXCL11 by ZNF395 was abolished after inhibition of IKK by BMS-345541, which increased the stability of ZNF395. ZNF395 encodes at least two motifs that mediate the enhanced degradation of ZNF395 in response to IKK activation. Thus, IKK is required for ZNF395-mediated activation of transcription and enhances its turn-over to keep the activity of ZNF395 low. Our results support a previously unrecognized role of ZNF395 in the innate immune response and inflammation.