Both mucosal and systemic immune responses are required for preventing or containing HIV transmission and chronic infection. However, currently described vaccination approaches are largely ineffective in inducing both mucosal and systemic responses. In this study, we found that the ubiquitin-editing enzyme A20--an inducible feedback inhibitor of the TNFR, RIG-I, and TLR signaling pathways that broadly controls the maturation, cytokine production, and immunostimulatory potency of DCs--restricted systemically immunized DCs to induce both robust mucosal and systemic HIV-specific cellular and humoral responses. Mechanistic studies revealed that A20 regulated DC production of retinoic acid and proinflammatory cytokines, inhibiting the expression of gut-homing receptors on T and B cells. Furthermore, A20-silenced, hyperactivated DCs exhibited an enhanced homing capacity to draining and gut-associated lymphoid tissues (GALTs) after systemic administration. Thus, this study provides insights into the role of A20 in innate immunity. This work may allow the development of an efficient HIV vaccination strategy that is capable of inducing both robust systemic and mucosal anti-HIV cellular and humoral responses.
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