Interleukin-12 (IL-12) is critical for induction of protective immunity against intracellular bacterial infection. However, the mechanisms for efficient induction of IL-12 in innate response remain poorly understood. Here we report that the B type of carbonic anhydrase 6 (Car6-b, which encoded CA-VI B) is essential for host defense against Listeria monocytogenes (LM) infection by epigenetically promoting IL-12 expression independent of its carbonic anhydrase activity. Deficiency of Car6-b attenuated IL-12 production upon LM infection both in vitro and in vivo. Car6-/- mice were more susceptible to LM infection with less production of IL-12. Mechanistically, the nuclear localized CA-VI B selectively promotes IL-12 expression by interaction with protein arginine N-methyltransferase 5 (PRMT5), which reduces symmetric dimethylation of histone H3 arginine 8 modification (H3R8me2s) at Il12 promoters to facilitate chromatin accessibility, selectively enhancing c-Rel binding to the Il12b promoter. Our findings add insights to the epigenetic regulation of IL-12 induction in innate immunity.
Keywords: Car6-b; IL-12; PRMT5; epigenetic modification; innate immunity.