Esculentoside A specifically binds to ribosomal protein S3a and impairs LPS-induced signaling in macrophages

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Esculentoside A (EsA), a saponin isolated from Phytolacca esculenta, is reported as a potent suppressor of pro-inflammatory functions of macrophages. However, little is known about the target proteins of EsA for its anti-inflammatory activity. In the present study, to identify the intracellular target for EsA, affinity resins bearing immobilized EsA were used to capture binding proteins of EsA from RAW264.7 cell lysates. Mass spectrography and Western blot analysis of captured proteins indicated that ribosomal protein S3a preferentially bound to EsA affinity resin. Competition experiment further demonstrated that free EsA can disturb the specific interaction between recombinant RPS3a and affinity resin. Surface Plasmon Resonance analysis confirmed that EsA directly bound to RPS3a. Lentivirus-mediated RNAi RPS3a resulted in suppression of TNF-α and IL-6 production and impediment of signal transduction in LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 cells, indicating that RPS3a is required for LPS-triggered signaling during induction of pro-inflammatory cytokines. In addition, EsA inhibited the expression of inflammatory factors more strongly in the case of RPS3a interference. These results suggest that EsA exerts its anti-inflammatory activity by targeting RPS3a and impairing its signaling function. These new findings not only extended our understanding on the intracellular mechanisms of EsA, but also indicated RPS3a as an essential component for LPS-mediated pro-inflammatory signaling, thus implying RPS3a as a novel therapeutic target for anti-inflammatory therapy.

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