Macrophages, circulating in the blood or concatenated into different organs and tissues constitute the first barrier against any disease. They are foremost controllers of both innate and acquired immunity, healthy tissue homeostasis, vasculogenesis and congenital metabolism. Two hallmarks of macrophages are diversity and plasticity due to which they acquire a wobbling array of phenotypes. These phenotypes are appropriately synchronized responses to a variety of different stimuli from either the tissue microenvironment or - microbes or their products. Based on the phenotype, macrophages are classified into classically activated/(M1) and alternatively activated/(M2) which are further sub-categorized into M2a, M2b, M2c and M2d based upon gene expression profiles. Macrophage phenotype metamorphosis is the regulating factor in initiation, progression, and termination of numerous inflammatory diseases. Several transcriptional factors and other factors controlling gene expression such as miRNAs contribute to the transformation of macrophages at different points in different diseases. Understanding the mechanisms of macrophage polarization and modulation of their phenotypes to adjust to the micro environmental conditions might provide us a great prospective for designing novel therapeutic strategy. In view of the above, this review summarises the activation of macrophages, the factors intricated in activation along with benefaction of macrophage polarization in response to microbial infections, pulmonary toxicity, lung injury and other inflammatory diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary dysplasia (COPD), bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), asthma and sepsis, along with the existing efforts to develop therapies targeting this facet of macrophage biology.
SUMMARY For more than fifteen years, the tautomerase active site of macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) and its catalytic residue Pro1 have been being targeted for the development of therapeutics that block activation of its cell surface receptor, CD74. Neither the biological role of the MIF catalytic site nor the mechanistic details of CD74 activation are well understood. The inherently unstable structure of CD74 remains the biggest obstacle in structural studies with MIF for understanding the basis of CD74 activation. Using a novel approach, we elucidate the mechanistic details that control activation of CD74 by MIF surface residues and identify structural parameters of inhibitors that reduce CD74 biologic activation. We also find that N-terminal mutants located deep in the catalytic site affect surface residues immediately outside the catalytic site, which are responsible for reduction of CD74 activation.
Hyperoxia-induced acute lung injury (HALI) is a key contributor to the pathogenesis of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) in neonates, for which no specific preventive or therapeutic agent is available. Here we show that lung micro-RNA (miR)-34a levels are significantly increased in lungs of neonatal mice exposed to hyperoxia. Deletion or inhibition of miR-34a improves the pulmonary phenotype and BPD-associated pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) in BPD mouse models, which, conversely, is worsened by miR-34a overexpression. Administration of angiopoietin-1, which is one of the downstream targets of miR34a, is able to ameliorate the BPD pulmonary and PAH phenotypes. Using three independent cohorts of human samples, we show that miR-34a expression is increased in type 2 alveolar epithelial cells in neonates with respiratory distress syndrome and BPD. Our data suggest that pharmacologic miR-34a inhibition may be a therapeutic option to prevent or ameliorate HALI/BPD in neonates.
Warburg effect is an emerging hallmark of cancer cells with pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2) as its key regulator. Curcumin is an extensively-studied anti-cancer compound, however, its role in affecting cancer metabolism remains poorly understood. Herein, we show that curcumin inhibits glucose uptake and lactate production (Warburg effect) in a variety of cancer cell lines by down-regulating PKM2 expression, via inhibition of mTOR-HIF1α axis. Stable PKM2 silencing revealed that PKM2 is required for Warburg effect and proliferation of cancer cells. PKM2 over-expression abrogated the effects of curcumin, demonstrating that inhibition of Warburg effect by curcumin is PKM2-mediated. High PKM2 expression correlated strongly with poor overall survival in cancer, suggesting the requirement of PKM2 in cancer progression. The study unravels novel PKM2-mediated inhibitory effect of curcumin on metabolic capacities of cancer cells. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study linking curcumin with PKM2-driven cancer glycolysis, thus, providing new perspectives into the mechanism of its anticancer activity.
We report a new inflammatory activity for extracellular d-dopachrome tautomerase (D-DT), the recruitment of neutrophils to the lung on D-DT intratracheal installation of C57BL/6J mice with an EC50 of 5.6 μg. We also find that D-DT and macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) have additive effects in neutrophil recruitment. Although the tautomerase site of D-DT and its homologue MIF are biophysically very different, 4-iodo-6-phenylpyrimidine (4-IPP) forms a covalent bond with Pro-1 of both proteins, resulting in a 6-phenylpyrimidine (6-PP) adduct. Recruitment of neutrophils to the lung for the 6-PP adducts of D-DT and MIF are reduced by ∼ 50% relative to the apo proteins, demonstrating that an unmodified Pro-1 is important for this activity, but there is no cooperativity in inhibition of the proteins together. The differences in the binding mode of the 6-PP adduct for D-DT was determined by crystallographic studies at 1.13 Å resolution and compared to the structure of the MIF-6-PP complex. There are major differences in the location of the 6-PP adduct to the D-DT and MIF active sites that provide insight into the lack of cooperativity by 4-IPP and into tuning the properties of the covalent inhibitors of D-DT and MIF that are necessary for the development of therapeutic small molecules against neutrophil damage from lung infections such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa in cystic fibrosis and immunocompromised patients.
We noted a marked increase in cyclooxygenase-2 (Cox2) and the activation of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress pathway in newborn murine lung on exposure to hyperoxia and IFN-g.We soughtto evaluate Cox2-mediated ER stress pathway activation in hyperoxia-induced and IFN-g-mediated injury in developing lungs. We applied in vivo genetic gain-of-function and genetic/chemical inhibition, as well as in vitro lossof-function genetic strategies. Hyperoxia-induced and IFN-g-mediated impaired alveolarization was rescued by Cox2 inhibition, using celecoxib. The use of small interfering RNA against the ER stress pathway mediator, the C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP; also known as growth arrest and DNA damage-inducible gene 153/GADD153), alleviated cell death in alveolar epithelial cells as well as in hyperoxia-induced and IFNg-mediated murine models of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). In addition, CHOP siRNA also restored alveolarization in the in vivo models. Furthermore, as evidence of clinical relevance, we show increased concentrations of Cox2 and ER stress pathway mediators in human lungs with BPD. Cox2, via CHOP, may significantly contribute to the final common pathway of hyperoxia-induced and IFN-g-mediated injury in developing lungs and human BPD.Keywords: newborn; oxygen; BPD; CHOP; cell deathIn the developing lung, injury attributable to hyperoxic exposure is an important component in the pathogenesis of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) (1, 2). The immature human lung during the saccular phase is most commonly exposed to such an exogenous insult, and is predisposed to BPD. The final result is a lung phenotype characterized by fewer and larger simplified alveoli (1-4). Hyperoxia-induced lung injury is characterized by an influx of inflammatory cells, along with endothelial and epithelial cell death (5, 6).Cell death is said to be a key initiator of the process of alveolar simplification. The activation of key caspases (3,8,9) and components of the extrinsic/death receptor and intrinsic/ mitochondrial cell death pathways underlies the molecular mechanisms of cell death (5-7). Another cell-death signaling pathway involves the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), which is the site for the folding and assembly of proteins destined for delivery to the extracellular space, plasma membrane, and the exocytic/endocytic compartments (8, 9). When cells are exposed to ER stress, malfolded or unfolded proteins accumulate in the ER lumen, giving rise to a synonymous term, the unfolded protein response (UPR) (8, 9). ER stress is sensed by three ER-resident transmembrane proteins, specifically, inositol-requiring enzyme-1 a (IRE-a), activating transcription factor-6a (ATF6a), and protein kinase regulated by RNA-like ER kinase (PERK), which are freed from binding immunoglobulin protein (BiP; also known as glucoseregulated protein-78, or GRP78) during ER stress (10). Whereas ER stress-induced cell death signaling can occur via multiple pathways, the pathway (i.e., via PERK) that induces transcription of the proapoptotic factor C/EBP homol...
Toll-like receptors (TLRs) comprise a clan of proteins involved in identification and triggering a suitable response against pathogenic attacks. As lung is steadily exposed to multiple infectious agents, antigens and host-derived danger signals, the inhabiting stromal and myeloid cells of the lung express an aggregate of TLRs which perceive the endogenously derived damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) along with pathogen associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) and trigger the TLR-associated signalling events involved in host defence. Thus, they form an imperative component of host defence activation in case of microbial infections as well as noninfectious pulmonary disorders such as interstitial lung disease, acute lung injury and airways disease, such as COPD and asthma. They also play an equally important role in lung cancer. Targeting the TLR signalling network would pave ways to the design of more reliable and effective vaccines against infectious agents and control deadly infections, desensitize allergens and reduce inflammation. Moreover, TLR agonists may act as adjuvants by increasing the efficiency of cancer vaccines, thereby contributing their role in treatment of lung cancer too. Overall, TLRs present a compelling and expeditiously bolstered area of research and addressing their signalling events would be of significant use in pulmonary diseases.
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