Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.533, No.4, 1290-1297, 2020
WNK1-TAK1 signaling suppresses lipopolysaccharide-induced cytokine production and classical activation in macrophages
With-no-lysine kinase (WNK) plays important roles in regulating electrolyte homeostasis, cell signaling, survival, and proliferation. It has been recently demonstrated that WNK1, a member of the WNK family, modifies the function of immune cells. Here we report that in macrophages, WNK1 has suppressive effects on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced inflammatory responses via TGFB-activated kinase 1 (TAK1)mediated activation of nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kappa B) and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathway. We found that WNK1 heterozygous (WNK1(+/-)) mice produced excessive proinflammatory cytokines in an experimental LPS-induced sepsis model, and peritoneal macrophages isolated from WNK1(+/-) mice produced higher levels of LPS-induced cytokines and NOS2 expression as canonical proinflammatory M1 macrophage markers. We confirmed that small hairpin RNA (shRNA)mediated knockdown of WNK1 activated LPS-induced cytokine production and NOS2 expression in RAW 264.7 macrophages. Moreover, we demonstrated that WNK1 knockdown increased the nuclear trans location of NF-kappa B and activated the p38 and Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) MAPK signaling pathway and that a TAK1 inhibitor diminished these effects of WNK1 knockdown. These results suggest that WNK1 acts as a physiologic immune modulator via interactions with TAK1. WNK1 may be a therapeutic target against the cytokine storm caused by sepsis. (C) 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.