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Relationship: 1017

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

Interference, nuclear localization of NFAT leads to Reduction, NFAT/AP-1 complex formation

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 High High Cataia Ives (send email) Open for comment. Do not cite EAGMST Under Review

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 High NCBI
Mus musculus Mus musculus High 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

Activated (dephosphorylated) nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) is translocated into the nucleus through the molecular changes of exposing nuclear localization signal (NLS) and concomitant masking of nuclear export signal (NES) due to dephosphorylation of the SP motifs of NFAT. (Matsuda and Koyasu 2000, Zhu and McKeon 1999).

Nuclear localization of NFAT results in the NFAT binding with AP 1 at the IL-2 promoter region, (Schreiber and Crabtree 1992; Jain et al. 1992) and induces transcription of IL-2 (Jain et al. 1993). In addition to IL-2, NFAT localized in the nucleus of T cells also binds to the promoter region of the other classes of cytokines including IL-4 and IL-13.

Once CN phosphatase activity is inhibited, dephosphorylation of NFAT and subsequent nuclear localization of NFAT decreases, which results in a decrease of NFAT/AP-1 complex formation at the cytokine promoter sites (Rao et al. 1997).

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

As has been mentioned, NFAT has NLS and NES among and adjacent to the N-terminal region rich in SP motifs, and once the SP region is dephosphorylated, the NLS is exposed and the NES is covered, which leads to translocation of NFAT into the nucleus (Matsuda and Koyasu 2000).

It is well known from the experiments using CN inhibitors (CNIs) that interference with the nuclear localization of NFAT in T cells leads to a reduction in the formation of NFAT/AP-1 complexes, thereby suppressing transcription of IL-2, IL-4, and a number of other cytokines (Maguire et al. 2013, Jain et al. 1992, Jain et al. 1993).

In contrast to T cells, B-cell receptor-mediated increases in intracellular concentration of calcium in B cells leads to NFAT nuclear localization, thereby producing some classes of cytokines in the same manner as T-cells (Bhattacharyya et al.2011). However, there has been no report of any evidence that CNI acts directly on B cells to effect antibody production.

Expression of IL-2 receptors in dendritic cells and NKT cells is also reported to be regulated by this CN-NFAT system (Panhans-Gross A et al. 2001; Kim et al. 2010), but there is no report showing that CNIs suppress TDAR through the changes in IL-2R expression in these cells.

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

Nothing especially

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

The relationship of the interference of nuclear localization of NFAT leading to reduced NFAT/AP-1 complex formation bound at the promoter sites of cytokine genes in the presence of CNIs is well known as mentioned above.

KE1:

Dose-dependent interference with nuclear translocation of NFAT1 was observed with increasing FK506 concentrations from 0.01nM (Jarkat T cells) up to 1 μM (1000 nM). 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 from 10nM to maximal concentrations of 1 μM (Maguire et al. 2013). Both parameters were measured after 2 hour culture of T cells with FK506.

KE2:

Reduction in generation of NFAT/AP-1 complexes can be detected using a gel shift assay (Rao et al. 1997, Jain et al. 1992, Jain et al. 1993).

Decreased NFAT translocated to the nucleus, induced by FK506 at 100ng/mL (124nM) or CsA at 500ng/mL (416nM) after 2 hours treatment, hinders the formation of the functional NFAT/AP-1 complexes necessary to binding at the site of IL-2 promoters (Flanagan et al. 1991). As mentioned above, the gel mobility shift assay also showed that NFAT/AP-1 complexes were formed only in the nucleus after T cell activation with unchanged preexisting NFAT in the cytoplasm and that treatment of T cells with 1µM FK506 led to decease the levels of NFAT/AP-1 complex (Jain et al. 1992).

These findings suggest that nuclear translocation of NFAT after T cell stimulation is strongly related to the complex formation with AP-1 in the nucleus, and FK506 was shown to inhibit NFAT/AP-1 complex formation in the nucleus at the concentrations within the concentration range of FK506 for suppressing nuclear translocation of NFAT (Maguire et al. 2013).

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

Nuclear translocation of NFAT was shown to be inhibited in vitro using imaging flowcytometry after 2 hours culture of T cells with FK506 (Maguire et al. 2013), and gel mobility shift assay revealed the inhibition of nuclear translocation of NFAT and following complex formation with AP-1 within the nucleus after 2 hours culture of T cells with FK506 (Jain et al. 1992, Flanagan et al. 1991).

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

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).

CN-NFAT system functionality is common among mammalian species, including humans and rodents. It is also possible that FK506-induced interference with NFAT/AP-1 complex formation at the promoter site of the IL-2 gene is common among mammalian T cells, including those of humans and rodents (Flanagan et al. 1991).

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. Bhattacharyya, S., Deb, J., Patra, A.K., Thuy Pham, D.A., Chen, W., Vaeth, M., Berberich-Siebelt, F., Klein-Hessling, S., Lamperti, E.D., Reifenberg, K., Jellusova, J., Schweizer, A., Nitschke, L., Leich, E., Rosenwald, A., Brunner, C., Engelmann, S., Bommhardt, U., Avots, A., Müller, M.R., Kondo, E. and Serfling, E. (2011). NFATc1 affects mouse splenic B cell function by controlling the calcineurin-NFAT signaling network. The Journal of experimental medicine 208 (4): 823-39.
  2. 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.
  3. Jain, J., McCaffrey, P. G., Valge-Archer, V. E. and Rao, A. (1992). Nuclear factor of activated T cells contains Fos and Jun. Nature. 356(6372): 801-4.
  4. Jain, J., Miner, Z. and Rao, A. (1993). Analysis of the preexisting and nuclear forms of nuclear factor of activated T cells. Journal of immunology. 151(2): 837-48.
  5. Kim, T., Kim, N. and Kang, H. J. (2010). FK506 causes cellular and functional defects in human natural killer cells. Journal of leukocyte biology. 88:1089-1097.
  6. 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.
  7. Matsuda, S., Koyasu, S. (2000). A second target of cyclosporin A and FK506. Tanpakushitsu kakusan koso. 45(11): 1823-31.
  8. 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.
  9. Rao, A., Luo, C., and Hogan, PG. (1997). Transcription factors of the NFAT family: regulation and function. Annual Review of Immunology 15: 707-47.
  10. Schreiber, SL., and Crabtree, GR. (1992). The mechanism of action of cyclosporin A and FK506. Immunology Today 13(4): 136-42.
  11. Zhu, J. and McKeon, F. (1999). NF-AT activation requires suppression of Crm1-dependent export by calcineurin. Nature. 398(6724): 256-60.