Kinase Activities of RIPK1 and RIPK3 Can Direct IFN-β Synthesis Induced by Lipopolysaccharide

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The Journal of Immunology, 198(11), 4435-4447. American Association of Immunologists (2017) .

American Association of Immunologists


The innate immune response is a central element of the initial defense against bacterial and viral pathogens. Macrophages are key innate immune cells that upon encountering pathogen-associated molecular patterns respond by producing cytokines, including IFN-β. In this study, we identify a novel role for RIPK1 and RIPK3, a pair of homologous serine/threonine kinases previously implicated in the regulation of necroptosis and pathologic tissue injury, in directing IFN-β production in macrophages. Using genetic and pharmacologic tools, we show that catalytic activity of RIPK1 directs IFN-β synthesis induced by LPS in mice. Additionally, we report that RIPK1 kinase–dependent IFN-β production may be elicited in an analogous fashion using LPS in bone marrow–derived macrophages upon inhibition of caspases. Notably, this regulation requires kinase activities of both RIPK1 and RIPK3, but not the necroptosis effector protein, MLKL. Mechanistically, we provide evidence that necrosome-like RIPK1 and RIPK3 aggregates facilitate canonical TRIF–dependent IFN-β production downstream of the LPS receptor TLR4. Intriguingly, we also show that RIPK1 and RIPK3 kinase–dependent synthesis of IFN-β is markedly induced by avirulent strains of Gram-negative bacteria, Yersinia and Klebsiella, and less so by their wild-type counterparts. Overall, these observations identify unexpected roles for RIPK1 and RIPK3 kinases in the production of IFN-β during the host inflammatory responses to bacterial infection and suggest that the axis in which these kinases operate may represent a target for bacterial virulence factors.

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