JOURNAL ARTICLE

AMP-activated protein kinase-α1 as an activating kinase of TGF-β-activated kinase 1 has a key role in inflammatory signals

S Y Kim, S Jeong, E Jung, K-H Baik, M H Chang, S A Kim, J-H Shim, E Chun, K-Y Lee
Cell Death & Disease 2012, 3: e357
22833096
Although previous studies have proposed plausible mechanisms of the activation of transforming growth factor-β-activated kinase 1 (TAK1) in inflammatory signals, including Toll-like receptors (TLRs), its activating kinase still remains to be unclear. In the present study, we have provided evidences that AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK)-α1 has a pivotal role for activating TAK1, and thereby regulate NF-κB-dependent gene expressions in inflammatory signaling mediated by TLR4 and TNF-α stimulation. AMPK-α1 specifically interacts with TAK1 and reciprocally regulates their kinase activities. Upon the stimulation of lipopolysaccharide, AMPK-α1-knockdown (AMPK-α1(KD)) or TAK1-knockdown human monocytic THP-1 cells exhibit a dramatic reduction in the TAK1 or AMPK-α1 kinase activity, respectively, and subsequent suppressions of its downstream signaling cascades, which further leads to inhibitions of NF-κB and thereby productions of proinflammatory cytokines, such as TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6. Importantly, the microarray analysis of AMPK-α1(KD) cells revealed a dramatic reduction in the NF-κB-dependent genes induced by TLR4 and TNF-α stimulation, and the observation was in significant correlation with the results of quantitative real-time PCR. Moreover, AMPK-α1(KD) cells are highly sensitive to the TNF-α-induced apoptosis, which is accompanied with dramatic reductions in the NF-κB-dependent and anti-apoptotic genes. As a result, our data demonstrate that AMPK-α1 as an activating kinase of TAK1 has a key role in mediating inflammatory signals triggered by TLR4 and TNF-α.

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