The myeloid heat shock transcription factor 1/β-catenin axis regulates NLR family, pyrin domain-containing 3 inflammasome activation in mouse liver ischemia/reperfusion injury

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Heat shock transcription factor 1 (HSF1) has been implicated in the differential regulation of cell stress and disease states. β-catenin activation is essential for immune homeostasis. However, little is known about the role of macrophage HSF1-β-catenin signaling in the regulation of NLRP3 inflammasome activation during ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury (IRI) in the liver. This study investigated the functions and molecular mechanisms by which HSF1-β-catenin signaling influenced NLRP3-mediated innate immune response in vivo and in vitro. Using a mouse model of IR-induced liver inflammatory injury, we found that mice with a myeloid-specific HSF1 knockout (HSF1M-KO) displayed exacerbated liver damage based on their increased serum alanine aminotransferase levels, intrahepatic macrophage/neutrophil trafficking, and proinflammatory interleukin (IL)-1β levels compared to the HSF1-proficient (HSF1FL/FL) controls. Disruption of myeloid HSF1 markedly increased transcription factor X-box-binding protein (XBP1), NLR family, pyrin domain-containing 3 (NLRP3), and cleaved caspase-1 expression, which was accompanied by reduced β-catenin activity. Knockdown of XBP1 in HSF1-deficient livers using a XBP1 small interfering RNA ameliorated hepatocellular functions and reduced NLRP3/cleaved caspase-1 and IL-1β protein levels. In parallel in vitro studies, HSF1 overexpression increased β-catenin (Ser552) phosphorylation and decreased reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in bone-marrow-derived macrophages. However, myeloid HSF1 ablation inhibited β-catenin, but promoted XBP1. Furthermore, myeloid β-catenin deletion increased XBP1 messenger RNA splicing, whereas a CRISPR/CRISPR-associated protein 9-mediated XBP1 knockout diminished NLRP3/caspase-1. Conclusion: The myeloid HSF1-β-catenin axis controlled NLRP3 activation by modulating the XBP1 signaling pathway. HSF1 activation promoted β-catenin, which, in turn, inhibited XBP1, leading to NLRP3 inactivation and reduced I/R-induced liver injury. These findings demonstrated that HSF1/β-catenin signaling is a novel regulator of innate immunity in liver inflammatory injury and implied the therapeutic potential for management of sterile liver inflammation in transplant recipients. (Hepatology 2016;64:1683-1698).

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