Chronic activation of microglia is a driving factor in the progression of neuroinflammatory diseases, and mechanisms that regulate microglial inflammatory signaling are potential targets for novel therapeutics. Regulator of G protein Signaling 10 is the most abundant RGS protein in microglia, where it suppresses inflammatory gene expression and reduces microglia-mediated neurotoxicity. In particular, microglial RGS10 downregulates the expression of pro-inflammatory mediators including cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) following stimulation with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). However, the mechanism by which RGS10 affects inflammatory signaling is unknown and is independent of its canonical G protein targeted mechanism. Here, we sought to identify non-canonical RGS10 interacting partners that mediate its anti-inflammatory mechanism. Through RGS10 co-immunoprecipitation coupled with mass spectrometry, we identified STIM2, an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) localized calcium sensor and a component of the store-operated calcium entry (SOCE) machinery, as a novel RGS10 interacting protein in microglia. Direct immunoprecipitation experiments confirmed RGS10-STIM2 interaction in multiple microglia and macrophage cell lines, as well as in primary cells, with no interaction observed with the homologue STIM1. We further determined that STIM2, Orai channels, and the Ca2+--dependent phosphatase calcineurin are essential for LPS-induced COX-2 production in microglia, and this pathway is required for the inhibitory effect of RGS10 on COX-2. Additionally, our data demonstrated that RGS10 suppresses SOCE triggered by ER calcium depletion and that ER calcium depletion, which induces SOCE, amplifies proinflammatory genes. In addition to COX-2, we also show that RGS10 suppresses the expression of proinflammatory cytokines in microglia in response to thrombin and LPS stimulation, and all of these effects require SOCE. Collectively, the physical and functional links between RGS10 and STIM2 suggest a complex regulatory network connecting RGS10, SOCE, and pro-inflammatory gene expression in microglia, with broad implications in the pathogenesis and treatment of chronic neuroinflammation.
Menbere Wendimu, Mohammed Alqinyah, Stephen Vella, Phillip Dean, Faris Almutairi, Roseanne Davila Rivera, Shima Rayatpisheh, James Wohlschlegel, Silvia Moreno, Shelley B Hooks. Cell Signal. 2021 Mar 8;109974. doi: 10.1016/j.cellsig.2021.109974