Publications by authors named "Merone Roose-Girma"

39 Publications

A TRPA1 inhibitor suppresses neurogenic inflammation and airway contraction for asthma treatment.

J Exp Med 2021 Apr;218(4)

Department of Immunology Discovery, Genentech, Inc., South San Francisco, CA.

Despite the development of effective therapies, a substantial proportion of asthmatics continue to have uncontrolled symptoms, airflow limitation, and exacerbations. Transient receptor potential cation channel member A1 (TRPA1) agonists are elevated in human asthmatic airways, and in rodents, TRPA1 is involved in the induction of airway inflammation and hyperreactivity. Here, the discovery and early clinical development of GDC-0334, a highly potent, selective, and orally bioavailable TRPA1 antagonist, is described. GDC-0334 inhibited TRPA1 function on airway smooth muscle and sensory neurons, decreasing edema, dermal blood flow (DBF), cough, and allergic airway inflammation in several preclinical species. In a healthy volunteer Phase 1 study, treatment with GDC-0334 reduced TRPA1 agonist-induced DBF, pain, and itch, demonstrating GDC-0334 target engagement in humans. These data provide therapeutic rationale for evaluating TRPA1 inhibition as a clinical therapy for asthma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1084/jem.20201637DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7918756PMC
April 2021

NINJ1 mediates plasma membrane rupture during lytic cell death.

Nature 2021 Mar 20;591(7848):131-136. Epub 2021 Jan 20.

Department of Physiological Chemistry, Genentech Inc., South San Francisco, CA, USA.

Plasma membrane rupture (PMR) is the final cataclysmic event in lytic cell death. PMR releases intracellular molecules known as damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) that propagate the inflammatory response. The underlying mechanism of PMR, however, is unknown. Here we show that the cell-surface NINJ1 protein, which contains two transmembrane regions, has an essential role in the induction of PMR. A forward-genetic screen of randomly mutagenized mice linked NINJ1 to PMR. Ninj1 macrophages exhibited impaired PMR in response to diverse inducers of pyroptotic, necrotic and apoptotic cell death, and were unable to release numerous intracellular proteins including HMGB1 (a known DAMP) and LDH (a standard measure of PMR). Ninj1 macrophages died, but with a distinctive and persistent ballooned morphology, attributable to defective disintegration of bubble-like herniations. Ninj1 mice were more susceptible than wild-type mice to infection with Citrobacter rodentium, which suggests a role for PMR in anti-bacterial host defence. Mechanistically, NINJ1 used an evolutionarily conserved extracellular domain for oligomerization and subsequent PMR. The discovery of NINJ1 as a mediator of PMR overturns the long-held idea that cell death-related PMR is a passive event.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-03218-7DOI Listing
March 2021

Neutrophil serine protease 4 is required for mast cell-dependent vascular leakage.

Commun Biol 2020 Nov 19;3(1):687. Epub 2020 Nov 19.

Department of Immunology, 1 DNA Way, South San Francisco, CA, 94080, USA.

Vascular leakage, or edema, is a serious complication of acute allergic reactions. Vascular leakage is triggered by the release of histamine and serotonin from granules within tissue-resident mast cells. Here, we show that expression of Neutrophil Serine Protease 4 (NSP4) during the early stages of mast cell development regulates mast cell-mediated vascular leakage. In myeloid precursors, the granulocyte-macrophage progenitors (GMPs), loss of NSP4 results in the decrease of cellular levels of histamine, serotonin and heparin/heparan sulfate. Mast cells that are derived from NSP4-deficient GMPs have abnormal secretory granule morphology and a sustained reduction in histamine and serotonin levels. Consequently, in passive cutaneous anaphylaxis and acute arthritis models, mast cell-mediated vascular leakage in the skin and joints is substantially reduced in NSP4-deficient mice. Our findings reveal that NSP4 is required for the proper storage of vasoactive amines in mast cell granules, which impacts mast cell-dependent vascular leakage in mouse models of immune complex-mediated diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s42003-020-01407-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7677402PMC
November 2020

Extracellular BMP1 is the major proteinase for COOH-terminal proteolysis of type I procollagen in lung fibroblasts.

Am J Physiol Cell Physiol 2021 02 18;320(2):C162-C174. Epub 2020 Nov 18.

Department of Discovery Immunology, Genentech, South San Francisco, California.

Proteolytic processing of procollagens is a central step during collagen fibril formation. Bone morphogenic protein 1 (BMP1) is a metalloprotease that plays an important role in the cleavage of carboxy-terminal (COOH-terminal) propeptides from procollagens. Although the removal of propeptides is required to generate mature collagen fibrils, the contribution of BMP1 to this proteolytic process and its action site remain to be fully determined. In this study, using postnatal lung fibroblasts as a model system, we showed that genetic ablation of in primary murine lung fibroblasts abrogated COOH-terminal cleavage from type I procollagen as measured by COOH-terminal propeptide of type I procollagen (CICP) production. We also showed that inhibition of BMP1 by siRNA-mediated knockdown or small-molecule inhibitor reduced the vast majority of CICP production and collagen deposition in primary human lung fibroblasts. Furthermore, we discovered and characterized two antibody inhibitors for BMP1. In both postnatal lung fibroblast and organoid cultures, BMP1 blockade prevented CICP production. Together, these findings reveal a nonredundant role of extracellular BMP1 to process CICP in lung fibroblasts and suggest that development of antibody inhibitors is a viable pharmacological approach to target BMP1 proteinase activity in fibrotic diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajpcell.00012.2020DOI Listing
February 2021

Impaired RIPK1 ubiquitination sensitizes mice to TNF toxicity and inflammatory cell death.

Cell Death Differ 2021 Mar 30;28(3):985-1000. Epub 2020 Sep 30.

Departments of Early Discovery Biochemistry, Genentech, 1 DNA Way, South San Francisco, CA, 94080, USA.

Receptor-interacting protein 1 (RIP1; RIPK1) is a key regulator of multiple signaling pathways that mediate inflammatory responses and cell death. TNF-TNFR1 triggered signaling complex formation, subsequent NF-κB and MAPK activation and induction of cell death involve RIPK1 ubiquitination at several lysine residues including Lys376 and Lys115. Here we show that mutating the ubiquitination site K376 of RIPK1 (K376R) in mice activates cell death resulting in embryonic lethality. In contrast to Ripk1 mice, Ripk1 mice reached adulthood and showed slightly higher responsiveness to TNF-induced death. Cell death observed in Ripk1 embryos relied on RIPK1 kinase activity as administration of RIPK1 inhibitor GNE684 to pregnant heterozygous mice effectively blocked cell death and prolonged survival. Embryonic lethality of Ripk1 mice was prevented by the loss of TNFR1, or by simultaneous deletion of caspase-8 and RIPK3. Interestingly, elimination of the wild-type allele from adult Ripk1 mice was tolerated. However, adult Ripk1 mice were exquisitely sensitive to TNF-induced hypothermia and associated lethality. Absence of the K376 ubiquitination site diminished K11-linked, K63-linked, and linear ubiquitination of RIPK1, and promoted the assembly of death-inducing cellular complexes, suggesting that multiple ubiquitin linkages contribute to the stability of the RIPK1 signaling complex that stimulates NF-κB and MAPK activation. In contrast, mutating K115 did not affect RIPK1 ubiquitination or TNF stimulated NF-κB and MAPK signaling. Overall, our data indicate that selective impairment of RIPK1 ubiquitination can lower the threshold for RIPK1 activation by TNF resulting in cell death and embryonic lethality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41418-020-00629-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7937686PMC
March 2021

Integration of innate immune signalling by caspase-8 cleavage of N4BP1.

Nature 2020 11 24;587(7833):275-280. Epub 2020 Sep 24.

Department of Physiological Chemistry, Genentech, South San Francisco, CA, USA.

Mutations in the death receptor FAS or its ligand FASL cause autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome, whereas mutations in caspase-8 or its adaptor FADD-which mediate cell death downstream of FAS and FASL-cause severe immunodeficiency in addition to autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome. Mouse models have corroborated a role for FADD-caspase-8 in promoting inflammatory responses, but the mechanisms that underlie immunodeficiency remain undefined. Here we identify NEDD4-binding protein 1 (N4BP1) as a suppressor of cytokine production that is cleaved and inactivated by caspase-8. N4BP1 deletion in mice increased the production of select cytokines upon stimulation of the Toll-like receptor (TLR)1-TLR2 heterodimer (referred to herein as TLR1/2), TLR7 or TLR9, but not upon engagement of TLR3 or TLR4. N4BP1 did not suppress TLR3 or TLR4 responses in wild-type macrophages, owing to TRIF- and caspase-8-dependent cleavage of N4BP1. Notably, the impaired production of cytokines in response to TLR3 and TLR4 stimulation of caspase-8-deficient macrophages was largely rescued by co-deletion of N4BP1. Thus, the persistence of intact N4BP1 in caspase-8-deficient macrophages impairs their ability to mount robust cytokine responses. Tumour necrosis factor (TNF), like TLR3 or TLR4 agonists, also induced caspase-8-dependent cleavage of N4BP1, thereby licensing TRIF-independent TLRs to produce higher levels of inflammatory cytokines. Collectively, our results identify N4BP1 as a potent suppressor of cytokine responses; reveal N4BP1 cleavage by caspase-8 as a point of signal integration during inflammation; and offer an explanation for immunodeficiency caused by mutations of FADD and caspase-8.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2796-5DOI Listing
November 2020

Single-Cell Transcriptome Profiling of the Kidney Glomerulus Identifies Key Cell Types and Reactions to Injury.

J Am Soc Nephrol 2020 10 10;31(10):2341-2354. Epub 2020 Jul 10.

Department of Research Biology, Genentech, South San Francisco, California

Background: The glomerulus is a specialized capillary bed that is involved in urine production and BP control. Glomerular injury is a major cause of CKD, which is epidemic and without therapeutic options. Single-cell transcriptomics has radically improved our ability to characterize complex organs, such as the kidney. Cells of the glomerulus, however, have been largely underrepresented in previous single-cell kidney studies due to their paucity and intractability.

Methods: Single-cell RNA sequencing comprehensively characterized the types of cells in the glomerulus from healthy mice and from four different disease models (nephrotoxic serum nephritis, diabetes, doxorubicin toxicity, and CD2AP deficiency).

Results: All cell types in the glomerulus were identified using unsupervised clustering analysis. Novel marker genes and gene signatures of mesangial cells, vascular smooth muscle cells of the afferent and efferent arterioles, parietal epithelial cells, and three types of endothelial cells were identified. Analysis of the disease models revealed cell type-specific and injury type-specific responses in the glomerulus, including acute activation of the Hippo pathway in podocytes after nephrotoxic immune injury. Conditional deletion of YAP or TAZ resulted in more severe and prolonged proteinuria in response to injury, as well as worse glomerulosclerosis.

Conclusions: Generation of comprehensive high-resolution, single-cell transcriptomic profiles of the glomerulus from healthy and injured mice provides resources to identify novel disease-related genes and pathways.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1681/ASN.2020020220DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7609001PMC
October 2020

The kinase IRAK4 promotes endosomal TLR and immune complex signaling in B cells and plasmacytoid dendritic cells.

Sci Signal 2020 06 2;13(634). Epub 2020 Jun 2.

Research, Genentech, 1 DNA Way, South San Francisco, CA 94080, USA.

The dysregulation of multiple signaling pathways, including those through endosomal Toll-like receptors (TLRs), Fc gamma receptors (FcγR), and antigen receptors in B cells (BCR), promote an autoinflammatory loop in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Here, we used selective small-molecule inhibitors to assess the regulatory roles of interleukin-1 receptor (IL-1R)-associated kinase 4 (IRAK4) and Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK) in these pathways. The inhibition of IRAK4 repressed SLE immune complex- and TLR7-mediated activation of human plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs). Correspondingly, the expression of interferon (IFN)-responsive genes (IRGs) in cells and in mice was positively regulated by the kinase activity of IRAK4. Both IRAK4 and BTK inhibition reduced the TLR7-mediated differentiation of human memory B cells into plasmablasts. TLR7-dependent inflammatory responses were differentially regulated by IRAK4 and BTK by cell type: In pDCs, IRAK4 positively regulated NF-κB and MAPK signaling, whereas in B cells, NF-κB and MAPK pathways were regulated by both BTK and IRAK4. In the pristane-induced lupus mouse model, inhibition of IRAK4 reduced the expression of IRGs during disease onset. Mice engineered to express kinase-deficient IRAK4 were protected from both chemical (pristane-induced) and genetic (NZB/W_F1 hybrid) models of lupus development. Our findings suggest that kinase inhibitors of IRAK4 might be a therapeutic in patients with SLE.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/scisignal.aaz1053DOI Listing
June 2020

NRF2 activates growth factor genes and downstream AKT signaling to induce mouse and human hepatomegaly.

J Hepatol 2020 06 24;72(6):1182-1195. Epub 2020 Feb 24.

Laboratory of Gene Regulation and Signal Transduction, Department of Pharmacology, University of California San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA; Department of Pathology, University of California San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA. Electronic address:

Background & Aims: Hepatomegaly can be triggered by insulin and insulin-unrelated etiologies. Insulin acts via AKT, but how other challenges cause hepatomegaly is unknown.

Methods: Since many hepatomegaly-inducing toxicants and stressors activate NRF2, we examined the effect of NRF2 activation on liver size and metabolism using a conditional allele encoding a constitutively active NRF2 variant to generate Nrf2 mice in which NRF2 is selectively activated in hepatocytes. We also used adenoviruses encoding variants of the autophagy adaptor p62/SQSTM1, which activates liver NRF2, as well as liver-specific ATG7-deficient mice (Atg7) and liver specimens from patients with hepatic sinusoidal obstruction syndrome (HSOS) and autoimmune hepatitis (AIH). RNA sequencing and cell signaling analyses were used to determine cellular consequences of NRF2 activation and diverse histological analyses were used to study effects of the different manipulations on liver and systemic pathophysiology.

Results: Hepatocyte-specific NRF2 activation, due to p62 accumulation or inhibition of KEAP1 binding, led to hepatomegaly associated with enhanced glycogenosis, steatosis and G2/M cell cycle arrest, fostering hyperplasia without cell division. Surprisingly, all manipulations that led to NRF2 activation also activated AKT, whose inhibition blocked NRF2-induced hepatomegaly and glycogenosis, but not NRF2-dependent antioxidant gene induction. AKT activation was linked to NRF2-mediated transcriptional induction of PDGF and EGF receptor ligands that signaled through their cognate receptors in an autocrine manner. Insulin and insulin-like growth factors were not involved. The NRF2-AKT signaling axis was also activated in human HSOS- and AIH-related hepatomegaly.

Conclusions: NRF2, a transcription factor readily activated by xenobiotics, oxidative stress and autophagy disruptors, may be a common mediator of hepatomegaly; its effects on hepatic metabolism can be reversed by AKT/tyrosine kinase inhibitors.

Lay Summary: Hepatomegaly can be triggered by numerous etiological factors, including infections, liver cancer, metabolic disturbances, toxicant exposure, as well as alcohol abuse or drug-induced hepatitis. This study identified the oxidative stress response transcription factor NRF2 as a common mediator of hepatomegaly. NRF2 activation results in elevated expression of several growth factors. These growth factors are made by hepatocytes and activate their receptors in an autocrine fashion to stimulate the accumulation of glycogen and lipids that lead to hepatocyte and liver enlargement. The protein kinase AKT plays a key role in this process and its inhibition leads to reversal of hepatomegaly.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhep.2020.01.023DOI Listing
June 2020

Blockade of the Phagocytic Receptor MerTK on Tumor-Associated Macrophages Enhances P2X7R-Dependent STING Activation by Tumor-Derived cGAMP.

Immunity 2020 02 11;52(2):357-373.e9. Epub 2020 Feb 11.

Genentech Inc., South San Francisco, CA, USA. Electronic address:

Clearance of apoptotic cells by macrophages prevents excessive inflammation and supports immune tolerance. Here, we examined the effect of blocking apoptotic cell clearance on anti-tumor immune response. We generated an antibody that selectively inhibited efferocytosis by phagocytic receptor MerTK. Blockade of MerTK resulted in accumulation of apoptotic cells within tumors and triggered a type I interferon response. Treatment of tumor-bearing mice with anti-MerTK antibody stimulated T cell activation and synergized with anti-PD-1 or anti-PD-L1 therapy. The anti-tumor effect induced by anti-MerTK treatment was lost in Sting mice, but not in Cgas mice. Abolishing cGAMP production in Cgas tumor cells, depletion of extracellular ATP, or inactivation of the ATP-gated P2X7R channel also compromised the effects of MerTK blockade. Mechanistically, extracellular ATP acted via P2X7R to enhance the transport of extracellular cGAMP into macrophages and subsequent STING activation. Thus, MerTK blockade increases tumor immunogenicity and potentiates anti-tumor immunity, which has implications for cancer immunotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.immuni.2020.01.014DOI Listing
February 2020

Activity of caspase-8 determines plasticity between cell death pathways.

Nature 2019 11 13;575(7784):679-682. Epub 2019 Nov 13.

Department of Physiological Chemistry, Genentech, South San Francisco, CA, USA.

Caspase-8 is a protease with both pro-death and pro-survival functions: it mediates apoptosis induced by death receptors such as TNFR1, and suppresses necroptosis mediated by the kinase RIPK3 and the pseudokinase MLKL. Mice that lack caspase-8 display MLKL-dependent embryonic lethality, as do mice that express catalytically inactive CASP8(C362A). Casp8Mlkl mice die during the perinatal period, whereas Casp8Mlkl mice are viable, which indicates that inactive caspase-8 also has a pro-death scaffolding function. Here we show that mutant CASP8(C362A) induces the formation of ASC (also known as PYCARD) specks, and caspase-1-dependent cleavage of GSDMD and caspases 3 and 7 in MLKL-deficient mouse intestines around embryonic day 18. Caspase-1 and its adaptor ASC contributed to the perinatal lethal phenotype because a number of Casp8MlklCasp1 and Casp8MlklAsc mice survived beyond weaning. Transfection studies suggest that inactive caspase-8 adopts a distinct conformation to active caspase-8, enabling its prodomain to engage ASC. Upregulation of the lipopolysaccharide sensor caspase-11 in the intestines of both Casp8Mlkl and Casp8MlklCasp1 mice also contributed to lethality because Casp8MlklCasp1Casp11 (Casp11 is also known as Casp4) neonates survived more often than Casp8MlklCasp1 neonates. Finally, Casp8Ripk3Casp1Casp11 mice survived longer than Casp8MlklCasp1Casp11 mice, indicating that a necroptosis-independent function of RIPK3 also contributes to lethality. Thus, unanticipated plasticity in death pathways is revealed when caspase-8-dependent apoptosis and MLKL-dependent necroptosis are inhibited.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-019-1752-8DOI Listing
November 2019

The RIPK4-IRF6 signalling axis safeguards epidermal differentiation and barrier function.

Nature 2019 10 2;574(7777):249-253. Epub 2019 Oct 2.

Department of Physiological Chemistry, Genentech, South San Francisco, CA, USA.

The integrity of the mammalian epidermis depends on a balance of proliferation and differentiation in the resident population of stem cells. The kinase RIPK4 and the transcription factor IRF6 are mutated in severe developmental syndromes in humans, and mice lacking these genes display epidermal hyperproliferation and soft-tissue fusions that result in neonatal lethality. Our understanding of how these genes control epidermal differentiation is incomplete. Here we show that the role of RIPK4 in mouse development requires its kinase activity; that RIPK4 and IRF6 expressed in the epidermis regulate the same biological processes; and that the phosphorylation of IRF6 at Ser413 and Ser424 primes IRF6 for activation. Using RNA sequencing (RNA-seq), histone chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by sequencing (ChIP-seq) and assay for transposase-accessible chromatin using sequencing (ATAC-seq) of skin in wild-type and IRF6-deficient mouse embryos, we define the transcriptional programs that are regulated by IRF6 during epidermal differentiation. IRF6 was enriched at bivalent promoters, and IRF6 deficiency caused defective expression of genes that are involved in the metabolism of lipids and the formation of tight junctions. Accordingly, the lipid composition of the stratum corneum of Irf6 skin was abnormal, culminating in a severe defect in the function of the epidermal barrier. Collectively, our results explain how RIPK4 and IRF6 function to ensure the integrity of the epidermis and provide mechanistic insights into why developmental syndromes that are characterized by orofacial, skin and genital abnormalities result when this axis goes awry.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-019-1615-3DOI Listing
October 2019

Cleavage of RIPK1 by caspase-8 is crucial for limiting apoptosis and necroptosis.

Nature 2019 10 11;574(7778):428-431. Epub 2019 Sep 11.

Department of Physiological Chemistry, Genentech, South San Francisco, CA, USA.

The aspartate-specific cysteine protease caspase-8 suppresses necroptotic cell death mediated by RIPK3 and MLKL. Indeed, mice that lack caspase-8 die in a RIPK3- and MLKL-dependent manner during embryogenesis. In humans, caspase-8 deficiency is associated with immunodeficiency or very early onset inflammatory bowel disease. The substrates that are cleaved by caspase-8 to prevent necroptosis in vivo have not been defined. Here we show that knock-in mice that express catalytically inactive caspase-8(C362A) die as embryos owing to MLKL-dependent necroptosis, similar to caspase-8-deficient mice. Thus, caspase-8 must cleave itself, other proteins or both to inhibit necroptosis. Mice that express caspase-8(D212A/D218A/D225A/D387A), which cannot cleave itself, were viable, as were mice that express c-FLIP or CYLD proteins that had been mutated to prevent cleavage by caspase-8. By contrast, mice that express RIPK1(D325A), in which the caspase-8 cleavage site Asp325 had been mutated, died mid-gestation. Embryonic lethality was prevented by inactivation of RIPK1, loss of TNFR1, or loss of both MLKL and the caspase-8 adaptor FADD, but not by loss of MLKL alone. Thus, RIPK1(D325A) appears to trigger cell death mediated by TNF, the kinase activity of RIPK1 and FADD-caspase-8. Accordingly, dying endothelial cells that contain cleaved caspase-3 were abnormally abundant in yolk sacs of Ripk1 embryos. Heterozygous Ripk1 cells and mice were viable, but were also more susceptible to TNF-induced cell death than were wild-type cells or mice. Our data show that Asp325 of RIPK1 is essential for limiting aberrant cell death in response to TNF, consistent with the idea that cleavage of RIPK1 by caspase-8 is a mechanism for dismantling death-inducing complexes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-019-1548-xDOI Listing
October 2019

Autophagy regulates inflammatory programmed cell death via turnover of RHIM-domain proteins.

Elife 2019 07 9;8. Epub 2019 Jul 9.

Department of Cancer Immunology, Genentech, South San Francisco, United States.

RIPK1, RIPK3, ZBP1 and TRIF, the four mammalian proteins harboring RIP homotypic interaction motif (RHIM) domains, are key components of inflammatory signaling and programmed cell death. RHIM-domain protein activation is mediated by their oligomerization; however, mechanisms that promote a return to homeostasis remain unknown. Here we show that autophagy is critical for the turnover of all RHIM-domain proteins. Macrophages lacking the autophagy gene accumulated highly insoluble forms of RIPK1, RIPK3, TRIF and ZBP1. Defective autophagy enhanced necroptosis by Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and Toll-like receptor (TLR) ligands. TNF-mediated necroptosis was mediated by RIPK1 kinase activity, whereas TLR3- or TLR4-mediated death was dependent on TRIF and RIPK3. Unexpectedly, combined deletion of and accelerated LPS-mediated necroptosis and sepsis in mice. Thus, ZBP1 drives necroptosis in the absence of the RIPK1-RHIM, but suppresses this process when multiple RHIM-domain containing proteins accumulate. These findings identify autophagy as a central regulator of innate inflammation governed by RHIM-domain proteins.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.44452DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6615860PMC
July 2019

Ubiquitin Ligases cIAP1 and cIAP2 Limit Cell Death to Prevent Inflammation.

Cell Rep 2019 05;27(9):2679-2689.e3

Department of Physiological Chemistry, Genentech, South San Francisco, CA 94080, USA. Electronic address:

Cellular inhibitor of apoptosis proteins cIAP1 and cIAP2 ubiquitinate nuclear factor κB (NF-κB)-inducing kinase (NIK) to suppress non-canonical NF-κB signaling and substrates such as receptor interacting protein kinase 1 (RIPK1) to promote cell survival. We investigate how these functions contribute to homeostasis by eliminating cIap2 from adult cIap1-deficient mice. cIAP1 and cIAP2 (cIAP1/2) deficiency causes rapid weight loss and inflammation, with aberrant cell death, indicated by cleaved caspases-3 and -8, prevalent in intestine and liver. Deletion of Casp8 and Ripk3 prevents this aberrant cell death, reduces the inflammation, and prolongs mouse survival, whereas Ripk3 loss alone offers little benefit. Residual inflammation in mice lacking cIap1/2, Casp8, and Ripk3 is reduced by inhibition of NIK. Loss of Casp8 and Mlkl (mixed lineage kinase domain-like), but not Mlkl loss alone, also prevents cIAP1/2-deficient mice from dying around embryonic day 11. Therefore, a major function of cIAP1/2 in vivo is to suppress caspase-8-dependent cell death.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2019.04.111DOI Listing
May 2019

IRF2 transcriptionally induces expression for pyroptosis.

Sci Signal 2019 05 21;12(582). Epub 2019 May 21.

Department of Physiological Chemistry, Genentech Inc., South San Francisco, CA 94080, USA.

Gasdermin-D (GSDMD) is cleaved by caspase-1, caspase-4, and caspase-11 in response to canonical and noncanonical inflammasome activation. Upon cleavage, GSDMD oligomerizes and forms plasma membrane pores, resulting in interleukin-1β (IL-1β) secretion, pyroptotic cell death, and inflammatory pathologies, including periodic fever syndromes and septic shock-a plague on modern medicine. Here, we showed that IRF2, a member of the interferon regulatory factor (IRF) family of transcription factors, was essential for the transcriptional activation of A forward genetic screen with -ethyl--nitrosourea (ENU)-mutagenized mice linked IRF2 to inflammasome signaling. expression was substantially attenuated in deficient macrophages, endothelial cells, and multiple tissues, which corresponded with reduced IL-1β secretion and inhibited pyroptosis. Mechanistically, IRF2 bound to a previously uncharacterized but unique site within the promoter to directly drive transcription for the execution of pyroptosis. Disruption of this single IRF2-binding site abolished signaling by both the canonical and noncanonical inflammasomes. Together, our data illuminate a key transcriptional mechanism for expression of the gene encoding GSDMD, a critical mediator of inflammatory pathologies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/scisignal.aax4917DOI Listing
May 2019

Intrinsic apoptosis shapes the tumor spectrum linked to inactivation of the deubiquitinase BAP1.

Science 2019 Apr 18;364(6437):283-285. Epub 2019 Apr 18.

Department of Physiological Chemistry, Genentech, 1 DNA Way, South San Francisco, CA 94080, USA.

Malignancies arising from mutation of tumor suppressors have unexplained tissue proclivity. For example, encodes a widely expressed deubiquitinase for histone H2A, but germline mutations are predominantly associated with uveal melanomas and mesotheliomas. We show that BAP1 inactivation causes apoptosis in mouse embryonic stem cells, fibroblasts, liver, and pancreatic tissue but not in melanocytes and mesothelial cells. Ubiquitin ligase RNF2, which silences genes by monoubiquitinating H2A, promoted apoptosis in BAP1-deficient cells by suppressing expression of the prosurvival genes and In contrast, BAP1 loss in melanocytes had little impact on expression of prosurvival genes, instead inducing Thus, BAP1 appears to modulate gene expression by countering H2A ubiquitination, but its loss only promotes tumorigenesis in cells that do not engage an RNF2-dependent apoptotic program.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aav4902DOI Listing
April 2019

The Gag protein PEG10 binds to RNA and regulates trophoblast stem cell lineage specification.

PLoS One 2019 5;14(4):e0214110. Epub 2019 Apr 5.

Physiological Chemistry Department, Genentech, South San Francisco, California, United States of America.

Peg10 (paternally expressed gene 10) is an imprinted gene that is essential for placental development. It is thought to derive from a Ty3-gyspy LTR (long terminal repeat) retrotransposon and retains Gag and Pol-like domains. Here we show that the Gag domain of PEG10 can promote vesicle budding similar to the HIV p24 Gag protein. Expressed in a subset of mouse endocrine organs in addition to the placenta, PEG10 was identified as a substrate of the deubiquitinating enzyme USP9X. Consistent with PEG10 having a critical role in placental development, PEG10-deficient trophoblast stem cells (TSCs) exhibited impaired differentiation into placental lineages. PEG10 expressed in wild-type, differentiating TSCs was bound to many cellular RNAs including Hbegf (Heparin-binding EGF-like growth factor), which is known to play an important role in placentation. Expression of Hbegf was reduced in PEG10-deficient TSCs suggesting that PEG10 might bind to and stabilize RNAs that are critical for normal placental development.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0214110PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6450627PMC
December 2019

Caspase-11 auto-proteolysis is crucial for noncanonical inflammasome activation.

J Exp Med 2018 09 22;215(9):2279-2288. Epub 2018 Aug 22.

Department of Physiological Chemistry, Genentech Inc., South San Francisco, CA

Intracellular LPS sensing by caspase-4/5/11 triggers proteolytic activation of pore-forming gasdermin D (GSDMD), leading to pyroptotic cell death in Gram-negative bacteria-infected cells. Involvement of caspase-4/5/11 and GSDMD in inflammatory responses, such as lethal sepsis, makes them highly desirable drug targets. Using knock-in (KI) mouse strains, we herein provide genetic evidence to show that caspase-11 auto-cleavage at the inter-subunit linker is essential for optimal catalytic activity and subsequent proteolytic cleavage of GSDMD. Macrophages from caspase-11-processing dead KI mice ( ) exhibit defective caspase-11 auto-processing and phenocopy and caspase-11 enzymatically dead KI ( ) macrophages in attenuating responses to cytoplasmic LPS or Gram-negative bacteria infection. KI macrophages also fail to cleave GSDMD and are hypo-responsive to inflammasome stimuli, confirming that the GSDMD Asp residue is a nonredundant and indispensable site for proteolytic activation of GSDMD. Our data highlight the role of caspase-11 self-cleavage as a critical regulatory step for GSDMD processing and response against Gram-negative bacteria.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1084/jem.20180589DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6122968PMC
September 2018

OTULIN limits cell death and inflammation by deubiquitinating LUBAC.

Nature 2018 07 27;559(7712):120-124. Epub 2018 Jun 27.

Department of Physiological Chemistry, Genentech, South San Francisco, CA, USA.

OTULIN (OTU deubiquitinase with linear linkage specificity) removes linear polyubiquitin from proteins that have been modified by LUBAC (linear ubiquitin chain assembly complex) and is critical for preventing auto-inflammatory disease and embryonic lethality during mouse development. Here we show that OTULIN promotes rather than counteracts LUBAC activity by preventing its auto-ubiquitination with linear polyubiquitin. Thus, knock-in mice that express catalytically inactive OTULIN, either constitutively or selectively in endothelial cells, resembled LUBAC-deficient mice and died midgestation as a result of cell death mediated by TNFR1 (tumour necrosis factor receptor 1) and the kinase activity of RIPK1 (receptor-interacting protein kinase 1). Inactivation of OTULIN in adult mice also caused pro-inflammatory cell death. Accordingly, embryonic lethality and adult auto-inflammation were prevented by the combined loss of cell death mediators: caspase 8 for apoptosis and RIPK3 for necroptosis. Unexpectedly, OTULIN mutant mice that lacked caspase 8 and RIPK3 died in the perinatal period, exhibiting enhanced production of type I interferon that was dependent on RIPK1. Collectively, our results indicate that OTULIN and LUBAC function in a linear pathway, and highlight a previously unrecognized interaction between linear ubiquitination, regulators of cell death, and induction of type I interferon.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-018-0256-2DOI Listing
July 2018

CRISPR off-target analysis in genetically engineered rats and mice.

Nat Methods 2018 07 21;15(7):512-514. Epub 2018 May 21.

Department of Molecular Biology, Genentech, Inc., South San Francisco, CA, USA.

Despite widespread use of CRISPR, comprehensive data on the frequency and impact of Cas9-mediated off-targets in modified rodents are limited. Here we present deep-sequencing data from 81 genome-editing projects on mouse and rat genomes at 1,423 predicted off-target sites, 32 of which were confirmed, and show that high-fidelity Cas9 versions reduced off-target mutation rates in vivo. Using whole-genome sequencing data from ten mouse embryos, treated with a single guide RNA (sgRNA), and from their genetic parents, we found 43 off-targets, 30 of which were predicted by an adapted version of GUIDE-seq.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41592-018-0011-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6558654PMC
July 2018

Ubiquilin1 promotes antigen-receptor mediated proliferation by eliminating mislocalized mitochondrial proteins.

Elife 2017 09 21;6. Epub 2017 Sep 21.

Department of Infectious Disease, Genentech, South San Francisco, United States.

Ubiquilins (Ubqlns) are a family of ubiquitin receptors that promote the delivery of hydrophobic and aggregated ubiquitinated proteins to the proteasome for degradation. We carried out a proteomic analysis of a B cell lymphoma-derived cell line, BJAB, that requires UBQLN1 for survival to identify UBQLN1 client proteins. When UBQLN1 expression was acutely inhibited, 120 mitochondrial proteins were enriched in the cytoplasm, suggesting that the accumulation of mitochondrial client proteins in the absence of UBQLN1 is cytostatic. Using a mouse strain, we found that B cell receptor (BCR) ligation of B cells led to a defect in cell cycle entry. As in BJAB cells, mitochondrial proteins accumulated in BCR-stimulated cells, leading to protein synthesis inhibition and cell cycle block. Thus, UBQLN1 plays an important role in clearing mislocalized mitochondrial proteins upon cell stimulation, and its absence leads to suppression of protein synthesis and cell cycle arrest.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.26435DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5608509PMC
September 2017

The kinase TPL2 activates ERK and p38 signaling to promote neutrophilic inflammation.

Sci Signal 2017 Apr 18;10(475). Epub 2017 Apr 18.

Genentech Research, Genentech Inc., 1 DNA Way, South San Francisco, CA 94080, USA.

Tumor progression locus 2 (TPL2; also known as MAP3K8) is a mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) kinase kinase (MAP3K) that phosphorylates the MAPK kinases MEK1 and MEK2 (MEK1/2), which, in turn, activate the MAPKs extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1 (ERK1) and ERK2 (ERK1/2) in macrophages stimulated through the interleukin-1 receptor (IL-1R), Toll-like receptors (TLRs), or the tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNFR). We describe a conserved and critical role for TPL2 in mediating the effector functions of neutrophils through the activation of the p38 MAPK signaling pathway. Gene expression profiling and functional studies of neutrophils and monocytes revealed a MEK1/2-independent branch point downstream of TPL2 in neutrophils. Biochemical analyses identified the MAPK kinases MEK3 and MEK6 and the MAPKs p38α and p38δ as downstream effectors of TPL2 in these cells. Genetic ablation of the catalytic activity of TPL2 or therapeutic intervention with a TPL2-specific inhibitor reduced the production of inflammatory mediators by neutrophils in response to stimulation with the TLR4 agonist lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in vitro, as well as in rodent models of inflammatory disease. Together, these data suggest that TPL2 is a drug target that activates not only MEK1/2-dependent but also MEK3/6-dependent signaling to promote inflammatory responses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/scisignal.aah4273DOI Listing
April 2017

RIPK1 inhibits ZBP1-driven necroptosis during development.

Nature 2016 12 7;540(7631):129-133. Epub 2016 Nov 7.

Department of Physiological Chemistry, Genentech, 1 DNA Way, South San Francisco, California 94080, USA.

Receptor-interacting protein kinase 1 (RIPK1) promotes cell survival-mice lacking RIPK1 die perinatally, exhibiting aberrant caspase-8-dependent apoptosis and mixed lineage kinase-like (MLKL)-dependent necroptosis. However, mice expressing catalytically inactive RIPK1 are viable, and an ill-defined pro-survival function for the RIPK1 scaffold has therefore been proposed. Here we show that the RIP homotypic interaction motif (RHIM) in RIPK1 prevents the RHIM-containing adaptor protein ZBP1 (Z-DNA binding protein 1; also known as DAI or DLM1) from activating RIPK3 upstream of MLKL. Ripk1 mice that expressed mutant RIPK1 with critical RHIM residues IQIG mutated to AAAA died around birth and exhibited RIPK3 autophosphorylation on Thr231 and Ser232, which is a hallmark of necroptosis, in the skin and thymus. Blocking necroptosis with catalytically inactive RIPK3(D161N), RHIM mutant RIPK3, RIPK3 deficiency, or MLKL deficiency prevented lethality in Ripk1 mice. Loss of ZBP1, which engages RIPK3 in response to certain viruses but previously had no defined role in development, also prevented perinatal lethality in Ripk1 mice. Consistent with the RHIM of RIPK1 functioning as a brake that prevents ZBP1 from engaging the RIPK3 RHIM, ZBP1 interacted with RIPK3 in Ripk1Mlkl macrophages, but not in wild-type, Mlkl or Ripk1Ripk3 macrophages. Collectively, these findings indicate that the RHIM of RIPK1 is critical for preventing ZBP1/RIPK3/MLKL-dependent necroptosis during development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature20559DOI Listing
December 2016

Caspase-11 cleaves gasdermin D for non-canonical inflammasome signalling.

Nature 2015 Oct 16;526(7575):666-71. Epub 2015 Sep 16.

Department of Physiological Chemistry, Genentech Inc., South San Francisco, California 94080, USA.

Intracellular lipopolysaccharide from Gram-negative bacteria including Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhimurium, Shigella flexneri, and Burkholderia thailandensis activates mouse caspase-11, causing pyroptotic cell death, interleukin-1β processing, and lethal septic shock. How caspase-11 executes these downstream signalling events is largely unknown. Here we show that gasdermin D is essential for caspase-11-dependent pyroptosis and interleukin-1β maturation. A forward genetic screen with ethyl-N-nitrosourea-mutagenized mice links Gsdmd to the intracellular lipopolysaccharide response. Macrophages from Gsdmd(-/-) mice generated by gene targeting also exhibit defective pyroptosis and interleukin-1β secretion induced by cytoplasmic lipopolysaccharide or Gram-negative bacteria. In addition, Gsdmd(-/-) mice are protected from a lethal dose of lipopolysaccharide. Mechanistically, caspase-11 cleaves gasdermin D, and the resulting amino-terminal fragment promotes both pyroptosis and NLRP3-dependent activation of caspase-1 in a cell-intrinsic manner. Our data identify gasdermin D as a critical target of caspase-11 and a key mediator of the host response against Gram-negative bacteria.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature15541DOI Listing
October 2015

Cdk8 deletion in the Apc(Min) murine tumour model represses EZH2 activity and accelerates tumourigenesis.

J Pathol 2015 Dec 24;237(4):508-19. Epub 2015 Sep 24.

Department of Pathology, Genentech Inc, South San Francisco, CA, USA.

CDK8 is a dissociable kinase module of the Mediator complex and has been shown to play an important role in transcriptional regulation in organisms as diverse as yeast and humans. Recent studies suggest that CDK8 functions as an oncoprotein in melanoma and colon cancer. Importantly, these studies were conducted using in vitro cell line models and the role of CDK8 in tumourigenesis in vivo has not been explored. We have generated a mouse with a Cdk8 conditional knockout allele and examined the consequences of Cdk8 loss on normal tissue homeostasis and tumour development in vivo. Cdk8 deletion in the young adult mouse did not induce any gross or histopathological abnormalities, implying that Cdk8 is largely dispensable for somatic cellular homeostasis. In contrast, Cdk8 deletion in the Apc(Min) intestinal tumour model shortened the animals' survival and increased tumour burden. Although Cdk8 deletion did not affect tumour initiation, intestinal tumour size and growth rate were significantly increased in Cdk8-null animals. Transcriptome analysis performed on Cdk8-null intestinal cells revealed up-regulation of genes that are governed by the Polycomb group (PcG) complex. In support of these findings, Cdk8-null intestinal cells and tumours displayed a reduction in histone H3K27 trimethylation, both globally and at the promoters of a number of PcG-regulated genes involved in oncogenic signalling. Together, our findings uncover a tumour suppressor function for CDK8 in vivo and suggest that the role of CDK8 activity in driving oncogenesis is context-specific. Sequencing data were deposited at GEO (Accession No. GSE71385).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/path.4596DOI Listing
December 2015

Efficient conditional knockout targeting vector construction using co-selection BAC recombineering (CoSBR).

Nucleic Acids Res 2015 Oct 18;43(19):e124. Epub 2015 Jun 18.

Genentech, Inc., Department of Molecular Biology, 1 DNA Way, South San Francisco, CA 94080, USA

A simple and efficient strategy for Bacterial Artificial Chromosome (BAC) recombineering based on co-selection is described. We show that it is possible to efficiently modify two positions of a BAC simultaneously by co-transformation of a single-stranded DNA oligo and a double-stranded selection cassette. The use of co-selection BAC recombineering reduces the DNA manipulation needed to make a conditional knockout gene targeting vector to only two steps: a single round of BAC modification followed by a retrieval step.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/nar/gkv600DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4627060PMC
October 2015

Effect of selective LRRK2 kinase inhibition on nonhuman primate lung.

Sci Transl Med 2015 Feb;7(273):273ra15

Department of Neuroscience, Genentech Inc., South San Francisco, CA 94080, USA.

Inhibition of the kinase activity of leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) is under investigation as a possible treatment for Parkinson's disease. However, there is no clinical validation as yet, and the safety implications of targeting LRRK2 kinase activity are not well understood. We evaluated the potential safety risks by comparing human and mouse LRRK2 mRNA tissue expression, by analyzing a Lrrk2 knockout mouse model, and by testing selective brain-penetrating LRRK2 kinase inhibitors in multiple species. LRRK2 mRNA tissue expression was comparable between species. Phenotypic analysis of Lrrk2 knockout mice revealed morphologic changes in lungs and kidneys, similar to those reported previously. However, in preclinical toxicity assessments in rodents, no pulmonary or renal changes were induced by two distinct LRRK2 kinase inhibitors. Both of these kinase inhibitors induced abnormal cytoplasmic accumulation of secretory lysosome-related organelles known as lamellar bodies in type II pneumocytes of the lung in nonhuman primates, but no lysosomal abnormality was observed in the kidney. The pulmonary change resembled the phenotype of Lrrk2 knockout mice, suggesting that this was LRRK2-mediated rather than a nonspecific or off-target effect. A biomarker of lysosomal dysregulation, di-docosahexaenoyl (22:6) bis(monoacylglycerol) phosphate (di-22:6-BMP), was also decreased in the urine of Lrrk2 knockout mice and nonhuman primates treated with LRRK2 kinase inhibitors. Our results suggest a role for LRRK2 in regulating lysosome-related lamellar bodies and that pulmonary toxicity may be a critical safety liability for LRRK2 kinase inhibitors in patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/scitranslmed.aaa3634DOI Listing
February 2015

Caspase-11 activation requires lysis of pathogen-containing vacuoles by IFN-induced GTPases.

Nature 2014 May 16;509(7500):366-70. Epub 2014 Apr 16.

Focal Area Infection Biology, Biozentrum, University of Basel, CH-4056 Basel, Switzerland.

Lipopolysaccharide from Gram-negative bacteria is sensed in the host cell cytoplasm by a non-canonical inflammasome pathway that ultimately results in caspase-11 activation and cell death. In mouse macrophages, activation of this pathway requires the production of type-I interferons, indicating that interferon-induced genes have a critical role in initiating this pathway. Here we report that a cluster of small interferon-inducible GTPases, the so-called guanylate-binding proteins, is required for the full activity of the non-canonical caspase-11 inflammasome during infections with vacuolar Gram-negative bacteria. We show that guanylate-binding proteins are recruited to intracellular bacterial pathogens and are necessary to induce the lysis of the pathogen-containing vacuole. Lysis of the vacuole releases bacteria into the cytosol, thus allowing the detection of their lipopolysaccharide by a yet unknown lipopolysaccharide sensor. Moreover, recognition of the lysed vacuole by the danger sensor galectin-8 initiates the uptake of bacteria into autophagosomes, which results in a reduction of caspase-11 activation. These results indicate that host-mediated lysis of pathogen-containing vacuoles is an essential immune function and is necessary for efficient recognition of pathogens by inflammasome complexes in the cytosol.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature13157DOI Listing
May 2014

Activity of protein kinase RIPK3 determines whether cells die by necroptosis or apoptosis.

Science 2014 Mar 20;343(6177):1357-60. Epub 2014 Feb 20.

Department of Physiological Chemistry, Genentech, 1 DNA Way, South San Francisco, CA 94080, USA.

Receptor-interacting protein kinase 1 (RIPK1) and RIPK3 trigger pro-inflammatory cell death termed "necroptosis." Studies with RIPK3-deficient mice or the RIPK1 inhibitor necrostatin-1 suggest that necroptosis exacerbates pathology in many disease models. We engineered mice expressing catalytically inactive RIPK3 D161N or RIPK1 D138N to determine the need for the active kinase in the whole animal. Unexpectedly, RIPK3 D161N promoted lethal RIPK1- and caspase-8-dependent apoptosis. In contrast, mice expressing RIPK1 D138N were viable and, like RIPK3-deficient mice, resistant to tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-induced hypothermia. Cells expressing RIPK1 D138N were resistant to TNF-induced necroptosis, whereas TNF-induced signaling pathways promoting gene transcription were unperturbed. Our data indicate that the kinase activity of RIPK3 is essential for necroptosis but also governs whether a cell activates caspase-8 and dies by apoptosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1249361DOI Listing
March 2014