Increasing evidence suggests the important role of metabolic reprogramming in the regulation of the innate inflammatory response, but the underlying mechanism remains unclear. Here, we provide evidence to support a novel role for the pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2)-mediated Warburg effect, namely aerobic glycolysis, in the regulation of high mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) release. PKM2 interacts with hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF1α) and activates the HIF-1α-dependent transcription of enzymes necessary for aerobic glycolysis in macrophages. Knockdown of PKM2, HIF1α, and glycolysis-related genes uniformly decreases lactate production and HMGB1 release. Similarly, a potential PKM2 inhibitor, shikonin, reduces serum lactate and HMGB1 levels and protects mice from lethal endotoxemia and sepsis. Collectively, these findings shed light on a novel mechanism for metabolic control of inflammation by regulating HMGB1 release and highlight the importance of targeting aerobic glycolysis in the treatment of sepsis and other inflammatory diseases.
Cell death and inflammation are key pathologic responses of acute pancreatitis (AP), the leading cause of hospital admissions for gastrointestinal disorders. It is becoming increasingly clear that damage-associated molecular pattern molecules (DAMPs) play an important role in the pathogenesis of AP by linking local tissue damage to systemic inflammation syndrome. Endogenous DAMPs released from dead, dying or injured cells initiate and extend sterile inflammation via specific pattern recognition receptors. Inhibition of the release and activity of DAMPs (for example, high mobility group box 1, DNA, histones and adenosine triphosphate) provides significant protection against experimental AP. Moreover, increased serum levels of DAMPs in patients with AP correlate with disease severity. These findings provide novel insight into the mechanism, diagnosis and management of AP. DAMPs might be an attractive therapeutic target in AP.
High mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) is an evolutionarily ancient protein that is present in one form or another in all eukaryotes. It fundamentally resides in the nucleus but translocates to the cytosol with stress and is subsequently released into the extracellular space. HMGB1 global knockout mice exhibit lethal hypoglycemia, whereas tissues and cells from conditional knockout or knock-in mice are born alive without apparent significant functional deficit. An aberrant response to targeted stress in the liver, pancreas, heart or myeloid cells is consistent with a protective role for HMGB1 in sustaining nuclear homeostasis and enabling other stress responses, including autophagy. Under some conditions, HMGB1 is not required for liver and heart function. Many challenges remain with respect to understanding the multiple roles of HMGB1 in health and disease.
Sepsis is caused by an overwhelming immune response to bacterial infection. The discovery of high mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) as a late mediator of lethal sepsis has prompted investigation into the development of new therapeutics which specifically target this protein. Here, we show that chloroquine, an anti-malarial drug, prevents lethality in mice with established endotoxemia or sepsis. This effect is still observed even if administration of chloroquine is delayed. The protective effects of chloroquine were mediated through inhibition of HMGB1 release in macrophages, monocytes, and endothelial cells, thereby preventing its cytokine-like activities. As an inhibitor of autophagy, chloroquine specifically inhibited HMGB1-induced Iκ-B degradation and NF-κB activation. These findings define a novel mechanism for the anti-inflammatory effects of chloroquine and also suggest a new potential clinical use for this drug in the setting of sepsis.
HMGB1; chloroquine; sepsis; autophagy; NF-κB; Beclin 1
Forty years ago, high mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) was discovered in calf thymus and named according to its electrophoretic mobility in polyacrylamide gels. Now, we know that HMGB1 performs dual functions. Inside the cell, HMGB1 is a highly conserved chromosomal protein acting as a DNA chaperone. Outside of the cell, HMGB1 is a prototypical damage-associated molecular pattern, acting with cytokine, chemokine, and growth factor. During tumor development and in cancer therapy, HMGB1 has been reported to play paradoxical roles in promoting both cell survival and death by regulating multiple signaling pathways, including inflammation, immunity, genome stability, proliferation, metastasis, metabolism, apoptosis, and autophagy. Here, we review the current knowledge of both HMGB1’s oncogenic and tumor suppressive roles and the potential strategies that target HMGB1 for the prevention and treatment of cancer.
Cells have evolved rather sophisticated mechanisms to deal with stress positively and efficiently. Accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), release of damage-associated molecular pattern molecule (DAMPs), and autophagy induction, are three inter-related processes occurring during most if not all cellular adaptations to stress. They influence each other reciprocally, initiating individual pathways, mediating and/or inducing effector mechanisms and modifying cellular function. High-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1), is a prototypic DAMP molecule, with various roles depending on its compartmental localization (nuclear, cytosolic, extracellular), well-defined but rather promiscuous binding partners, and the redox status within or without the cell. Typically, HMGB1 serves as a redox sensor, where redox modification also defines its translocation, release and activity, illustrative of the coordinate and multiply determined paths involved in the response to cell stress. Since DAMPs, redox and autophagy are essential and multifaceted in their roles in host defense, inflammation, and homeostasis, understanding how they interact and coordinate various signaling pathways to adjust to the stressful environment is important in the development of various potential therapeutic strategies, including application to patients with cancer.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are 18- to 22-nucleotide-long, single-stranded, noncoding RNAs that regulate important biological processes including differentiation, proliferation, and response to cellular stressors such as hypoxia, nutrient depletion, and traversion of the cell cycle by controlling protein expression within the cell. Many investigators have profiled cancer tissue and serum miRNAs to identify potential therapeutic targets, understand the pathways involved in tumorigenesis, and identify diagnostic tumor signatures. In the setting of pancreatic cancer, obtaining pancreatic tissue is invasive and impractical for early diagnosis. Several groups have profiled miRNAs that are present in the blood as a means to diagnose tumor progression and predict prognosis/survival or drug resistance. Several miRNA signatures found in pancreatic tissue and the peripheral blood, as well as the pathways that are associated with pancreatic cancer, are reviewed here in detail. Three miRNA biomarkers (miR-21, miR-155, and miR-200) have been repetitively identified in both pancreatic cancer tissue and patients’ blood. Those miRNAs regulate and are regulated by the central genetic and epigenetic changes observed in pancreatic cancer including p53, transforming growth factor [beta], p16INK4A, BRCA1/2, and Kras. These miRNAs are involved in DNA repair, cell cycle, and cell invasion and also play important roles in promoting metastases.
Pancreatic Cancer; microRNA (miRNA); circulating; biomarker; genetic mutation
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) has an aggressive natural history and is resistant to therapy. The receptor for advanced glycation end-products (RAGE) is a pattern recognition receptor for many damage associated molecular pattern (DAMP) molecules. RAGE is overexpressed in both human and murine models of PDA as well as most advanced epithelial neoplasms. The immunosuppressive nature of the PDA micro-environment is facilitated, in part, by the accumulation of regulatory immune cell infiltrates such as myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs). To study the role of RAGE expression in the setting of mutant Ras-promoted pancreatic carcinogenesis (KC), a triple transgenic model of spontaneous murine PDA in a RAGE-null background (KCR) was generated. KCR mice had markedly delayed pancreatic carcinogenesis and a significant diminution of MDSCs compared to KC mice at comparable time points post weaning. While RAGE was not required for the development or suppressor activity of MDSCs, its absence was associated with temporally limited pancreatic neoplasia and altered phenotype and function of the myeloid cells. In lieu of MDSCs, KCR animals at comparable time points exhibited mature CD11b+Gr1−F4/80+ cells which were not immunosuppressive in vitro. KCR mice also maintained a significantly less suppressive milieu evidenced by marked decreases in CCL22 in relation to CXCL10 and diminished serum levels of IL-6.
Rodent; Monocytes/Macrophages; Inflammation; Tolerance/Suppression/Anergy; Tumor Immunity; Transgenic/Knockout Mice
Autophagy is a double-edged sword in tumorigenesis and plays an important role in the resistance of cancer cells to chemotherapy. S100A8 is a member of the S100 calcium-binding protein family and plays an important role in the drug resistance of leukemia cells, with the mechanisms largely unknown. Here we report that S100A8 contributes to drug resistance in leukemia by promoting autophagy. S100A8 level was elevated in drug resistance leukemia cell lines relative to the nondrug resistant cell lines. Adriamycin and vincristine increased S100A8 in human leukemia cells, accompanied with upregulation of autophagy. RNA interference-mediated knockdown of S100A8 restored the chemosensitivity of leukemia cells, while overexpression of S100A8 enhanced drug resistance and increased autophagy. S100A8 physically interacted with the autophagy regulator BECN1 and was required for the formation of the BECN1-PI3KC3 complex. In addition, interaction between S100A8 and BECN1 relied upon the autophagic complex ULK1-mAtg13. Furthermore, we discovered that exogenous S100A8 induced autophagy, and RAGE was involved in exogenous S100A8-regulated autophagy. Our data demonstrated that S100A8 is involved in the development of chemoresistance in leukemia cells by regulating autophagy, and suggest that S100A8 may be a novel target for improving leukemia therapy.
Autophagy is a lysosome-mediated catabolic process involving the degradation of intracellular contents (e.g., proteins and organelles) as well as invading microbes (e.g., parasites, bacteria and viruses). Multiple forms of cellular stress can stimulate this pathway, including nutritional imbalances, oxygen deprivation, immunological response, genetic defects, chromosomal anomalies and cytotoxic stress. Damage-associated molecular pattern molecules (DAMPs) are released by stressed cells undergoing autophagy or injury, and act as endogenous danger signals to regulate the subsequent inflammatory and immune response. A complex relationship exists between DAMPs and autophagy in cellular adaption to injury and unscheduled cell death. Since both autophagy and DAMPs are important for pathogenesis of human disease, it is crucial to understand how they interplay to sustain homeostasis in stressful or dangerous environments.
autophagy; DAMP; stress; HMGB1; ATP; IL1B; injury
Significance: Phagocytosis is required for the clearance of dying cells. The subsequent regulation of inflammatory responses by phagocytic cells is mediated by both innate and adaptive immune responses. Autophagy, an evolutionarily ancient process of lysosomal self-digestion of organelles, protein aggregates, apoptotic corpses, and cytosolic pathogens, has only recently become appreciated for its dynamic relationship with phagocytosis, including newly discovered autophagic-phagocytosis “hybrid” processes such as microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3-associated phagocytosis (LAP). Recent Advances: Signal transduction by reactive oxygen species (ROS) plays a critical role in the modulation of autophagy, phagocytosis, and LAP, and serves as both a link and an additional layer of regulation between these processes. Furthermore, specific targets for oxidation by ROS molecules have recently begun to become identified in each of these processes, as have “shared” proteins that facilitate the successful completion of both autophagy and phagocytosis. High mobility group box 1 is at the crossroads of autophagy, phagocytosis, and oxidative stress. Critical Issues: In this review, we discuss the most recent findings that link elements of autophagy and phagocytosis, specifically through redox-dependent signal transduction. These interconnected cellular processes are placed in the context of cell death and immunity in both health and disease. Future Directions: Given the broad roles that autophagy, phagocytosis, and ROS signaling play in human health, disease, and the maintenance of cellular and organismal homeostatic balance, it is important to delineate intersections between these pathways and uncover targets for potential therapeutic intervention in the setting of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 18, 677–691.
Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved pathway responsible for delivery of cytoplasmic material into the lysosomal degradation pathway to enable vesicular exocytosis. Interleukin (IL)-2 is produced by T-cells and its activity is important for immunoregulation. Fibroblasts are an immune competent cell type, playing a critical role in wound healing, chronic inflammation, and tumor development. Although autophagy plays an important role in each of these processes, whether it regulates IL-2 activity in fibroblasts is unknown. Here, we show that autophagy is required for IL-2-induced cell growth in fibroblasts. IL-2 significantly induced autophagy in mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) and primary lung fibroblasts. Autophagy inhibitors (e.g., 3-methylamphetamine and bafilomycin A1) or knockdown of ATG5 and beclin 1 blocked clinical grade IL-2-induced autophagy. Moreover, IL-2 induced HMGB1 cytoplasmic translocation in MEFs and promoted interaction between HMGB1 and beclin1, which is required for autophagy induction. Pharmacological and genetic inhibition of autophagy inhibited IL-2-induced cell proliferation and enhanced IL-2-induced apoptosis. These findings suggest that autophagy is an important pro-survival regulator for IL-2-induced cell growth in fibroblasts.
IL-2; Autophagy; Apoptosis; Immunotherapy; HMGB1
Damage-associated molecular pattern (DAMP) molecules are essential for the initiation of innate inflammatory responses to infection and injury. The prototypic DAMP molecule, high-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1), is an abundant architectural chromosomal protein that has location-specific biological functions: within the nucleus as a DNA chaperone, within the cytosol to sustain autophagy and outside the cell as a DAMP molecule. Recent research indicates that aberrant activation of HMGB1 signaling can promote the onset of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, raising interest in the development of therapeutic strategies to control their function. The importance of HMGB1 activation in various forms of liver disease in relation to liver damage, steatosis, inflammation, fibrosis, tumorigenesis and regeneration is discussed in this review.
Pathogen-associated molecular pattern molecules (PAMPs) are derived from microorganisms and recognized by pattern recognition receptor (PRR)-bearing cells of the innate immune system as well as many epithelial cells. In contrast, damage-associated molecular pattern molecules (DAMPs) are cell-derived and initiate and perpetuate immunity in response to trauma, ischemia, and tissue damage, either in the absence or presence of pathogenic infection. Most PAMPs and DAMPs serve as so-called ‘Signal 0s’ that bind specific receptors [Toll-like receptors, NOD-like receptors, RIG-I-like receptors, AIM2-like receptors, and the receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE)] to promote autophagy. Autophagy, a conserved lysosomal degradation pathway, is a cell survival mechanism invoked in response to environmental and cellular stress. Autophagy is inferred to have been present in the last common eukaryotic ancestor and only to have been lost by some obligatory intracellular parasites. As such, autophagy represents a unifying biology, subserving survival and the earliest host defense strategies, predating apoptosis, within eukaryotes. Here, we review recent advances in our understanding of autophagic molecular mechanisms and functions in emergent immunity.
PAMPs; DAMPs; autophagy; apoptosis; danger signals; inflammation; programmed cell death
The characteristics of the tumor microenvironment vary widely. New work shows that after tumor-associated expression of the receptor TIM-3 by dendritic cells, TIM-3 inhibits the antitumor efficacy of DNA vaccines and chemotherapy by binding to the damage-associated molecular pattern molecule, HMGB1.
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA), the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States, is a complex disease that arises in the setting of genetic alterations (KRAS, BRCA1, SMAD4, CDKN2A/p16INK4a and TP53), epigenetic perturbations (MIR155, acetylation and methylation) and epicellular events (diabetes and inflammation). We have demonstrated that the advanced glycation end product-specific receptor (AGER, also called RAGE) contributes to pancreatic tumorigenesis. Targeted ablation of AGER diminishes the amount of autophagic flux and attenuates the development of early pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PanIN) lesions in a murine model of KRAS-drivien carcinogenesis. Autophagy (programmed cell survival), a metabolic process of lysosome-mediated self-digestion, promotes pancreatic cancer growth. In pancreatic tumor cell lines, AGER-mediated autophagy promotes interleukin-6 (IL6)-induced phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (pSTAT3) and mitochondrial localization of pSTAT3. Enhanced mitochondrial pSTAT3 increases the pool of available ATP and increases cellular proliferation. Moreover, we observed a positive feedback loop between activation of autophagy and the IL6-pSTAT3 pathway, perhaps different from the role of cytosolic nonphosphorylated STAT3, which has been reported to inhibit autophagy. These AGER-dependent changes were found during the earliest stages of pancreatic cancer development. These observations of inflammation and altered metabolism in PDA provide a pathological link to early precursor lesion development. Thus, AGER is an important inflammatory mediator that modulates crosstalk between prosurvival pathways, IL6-pSTAT3 and autophagy, in PDA tumor cells, and contributes to early PanIN formation.
RAGE; autophagy; oncogene; KRAS; IL6; STAT3
Double-stranded RNA–dependent protein kinase (PKR) is implicated in inflammation and immune dysfunction through its regulation of mitogen-activated protein kinases, interferon regulatory factor 3, nuclear factorκB, apoptosis, and autophagy pathways. A study shows that PKR is also required for the activation of inflammasomes and the subsequent release of high-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) protein, a proinflammatory cytokine. Thus, the cell stress kinase PKR has multifaceted roles in the regulation of inflammatory immune responses, and PKR and HMGB1 are attractive targets for inflammasome-associated diseases.
Tumorigenesis and the efficacy of cancer therapeutics are both defined by the balance between autophagy and apoptosis. High-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) is a DNA chaperone and extracellular damage-associated molecular pattern molecule (DAMP) with pro-autophagic activity. TP53/p53 plays a transcription-dependent and -independent role in the regulation of apoptosis, autophagy, metabolism, cell cycle progression, and many other processes. Both HMGB1 and TP53 are tightly linked with the development of cancer, associated with many of the hallmarks defining the altered biology of cancer. We have demonstrated that TP53-HMGB1 complexes regulate the balance between apoptosis and autophagy through regulation of the cytosolic localization of the reciprocal binding partner, whereby increased cytosolic HMGB1 enhances autophagy and increased cytosolic TP53 enhances apoptosis in colon cancer cells. We found that HMGB1-mediated autophagy promotes cell survival in TP53-dependent processes, and that TP53 inhibits autophagy through negative regulation of HMGB1-BECN1 complexes. Nuclear localization of TP53 and HMGB1 in tumors from patients with colon adenocarcinoma had a positive trend with survival time from diagnosis. Thus, HMGB1 and TP53 are critical in the crossregulation of apoptosis and autophagy and central to colon cancer biology.
Apoptosis; autophagy; colorectal cancer; HMGB1; TP53
The balance between apoptosis (“programmed cell death”) and autophagy (“programmed cell survival”) is important in tumor development and response to therapy. Here we show that HMGB1 and p53 form a complex which regulates the balance between tumor cell death and survival. We demonstrate that knockout of p53 inHCT116 cells increases expression of cytosolic HMGB1 and induces autophagy. Conversely, knockout of HMGB1 in mouse embryonic fibroblasts increases p53 cytosolic localization and decreases autophagy. p53 is thus a negative regulator of the HMGB1/Beclin 1 complex, and HMGB1 promotes autophagy in the setting of diminished p53. HMGB1-mediated autophagy promotes tumor cell survival in the setting of p53-dependent processes. The HMGB1/p53 complex affects the cytoplasmic localization of the reciprocal binding partner thereby regulating subsequent levels of autophagy and apoptosis. These insights provide a novel link between HMGB1 and p53 in the crossregulation of apoptosis and autophagy in the setting of cell stress, providing insights into their reciprocal roles in carcinogenesis.
HMGB1; p53; Autophagy; Apoptosis; Colorectal cancer
IFN1@ (interferon, type 1, cluster, also called IFNα) has been extensively studied as a treatment for patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). The mechanism of anticancer activity of IFN1@ is complex and not well understood. Here, we demonstrate that autophagy, a mechanism of cellular homeostasis for the removal of dysfunctional organelles and proteins, regulates IFN1@-mediated cell death. IFN1@ activated the cellular autophagic machinery in immortalized or primary CML cells. Activation of JAK1-STAT1 and RELA signaling were required for IFN1@-induced expression of BECN1, a key regulator of autophagy. Moreover, pharmacological and genetic inhibition of autophagy enhanced IFN1@-induced apoptosis by activation of the CASP8-BID pathway. Taken together, these findings provide evidence for an important mechanism that links autophagy to immunotherapy in leukemia.
IFN1@; autophagy; apoptosis; immunotherapy; chronic myeloid leukemia
High mobility group box 1 (HMGB1), an evolutionarily highly conserved and abundant nuclear protein also has roles within the cytoplasm and as an extracellular damage-associated molecular pattern (DAMP) molecule. Extracellular HMGB1 is the prototypic endogenous ‘danger signal’ that triggers inflammation and immunity. Recent findings suggest that posttranslational modifications dictate the cellular localization and secretion of HMGB1. HMGB1 is actively secreted from immune cells and stressed cancer cells, or passively released from necrotic cells. During cancer development or administration of therapeutic agents including chemotherapy, radiation, epigenetic drugs, oncolytic viruses, or immunotherapy, the released HMGB1 may either promote or limit cancer growth, depending on the state of progression and vascularization of the tumor. Extracellular HMGB1 enhances autophagy and promotes persistence of surviving cancer cells following initial activation. When oxidized, it chronically suppresses the immune system to promote cancer growth and progression, thereby enhancing resistance to cancer therapeutics. In its reduced form, it can facilitate and elicit innate and adaptive anti-tumor immunity, recruiting and activating immune cells, in conjunction with cytotoxic agents, particularly in early transplantable tumor models. We hypothesize that HMGB1 also functions as an epigenetic modifier, mainly through regulation of NF-kB-dependent signaling pathways, to modulate the behavior of surviving cancer cells as well as the immune cells found within the tumor microenvironment. This has significant implications for developing novel cancer therapeutics.
Cancer; HMGB1; NF-kB signaling; activation; innate immunity; dendritic cells; CD8+ T cells; epigenetic pathways
Reactive oxygen species, including hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), can cause toxicity and act as signaling molecules in various pathways regulating both cell survival and cell death. However, the sequence of events between the oxidative insult and cell damage remains unclear. In the current study, we investigated the effect of oxidative stress on activation of the Receptor for Advanced Glycation End-products (RAGE) and subsequent protection against H2O2-induced pancreatic tumor cell damage. We found that exposure of pancreatic tumor cells to H2O2 provoked a nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB)-dependent increase in RAGE expression. Further, suppression of RAGE expression by RNA interference increased the sensitivity of pancreatic tumor cells to oxidative injury. Furthermore, targeted knockdown of RAGE led to increased cell death by apoptosis and diminished cell survival by autophagy during H2O2-induced oxidative injury. Moreover, we demonstrate that RAGE is a positive feedback regulator for NF-κB as knockdown of RAGE decreased H2O2-induced activity of NF-κB. Taken together, these results suggest that RAGE is an important regulator of oxidative injury. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 15, 2175–2184.
Autophagy, the process by which cells break down spent biochemical and damaged components, plays an important role in cell survival following stress. High mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) regulates autophagy in response to oxidative stress.
Exogenous hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) treatment or knockdown of the major superoxide scavenger enzyme, superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1), by small interfering RNA (siRNA) increases autophagy in mouse and human cell lines. Addition of either SOD1 siRNA or H2O2 promotes cytosolic HMGB1 expression and extracellular release. Importantly, inhibition of HMGB1 release or loss of HMGB1 decreases the number of autophagolysosomes and autophagic flux under oxidative stress in vivo and in vitro.
HMGB1 release may be a common mediator of response to oxidative stress.
HMGB1 is important for oxidative stress-mediated autophagy and serves as a new target for the treatment of stress-associated disorders. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 15, 2185–2195.
High mobility group box 1 (HMGB1), the prototypic damage–associated molecular pattern molecule, is released at sites of inflammation and/or tissue damage. There, it promotes cytokine production and chemokine production/cell migration. New work shows that the redox status of HMGB1 distinguishes its cytokine-inducing and chemokine activity. Reduced all-thiol-HMGB1 has sole chemokine activity, whereas disulfide-HMGB1 has only cytokine activity, and oxidized, denatured HMGB1 has neither. Autophagy (programmed cell survival) and apoptosis (programmed cell death) have been implicated in controlling both innate and adaptive immune functions. Reduced HMGB1 protein promotes autophagy, whereas oxidized HMGB1 promotes apoptosis. Thus, the differential activity of HMGB1 in immunity, inflammation and cell death depends on the cellular redox status within tissues.