Apolipoprotein A-I (ApoA-I) is the main structural and functional protein component of high-density lipoprotein. ApoA-I has been shown to regulate lipid metabolism and inflammation in macrophages. Recently, we found the moderate expression of endogenous apoA-I in human monocytes and macrophages and showed that pro-inflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) increases apoA-I mRNA and stimulates ApoA-I protein secretion by human monocytes and macrophages. Here, we present data about molecular mechanisms responsible for the TNFα-mediated activation of apoA-I gene in human monocytes and macrophages. This activation depends on JNK and MEK1/2 signaling pathways in human monocytes, whereas inhibition of NFκB, JNK, or p38 blocks an increase of apoA-I gene expression in the macrophages treated with TNFα. Nuclear receptor PPARα is a ligand-dependent regulator of apoA-I gene, whereas LXRs stimulate apoA-I mRNA transcription and ApoA-I protein synthesis and secretion by macrophages. Treatment of human macrophages with PPARα or LXR synthetic ligands as well as knock-down of LXRα, and LXRβ by siRNAs interfered with the TNFα-mediated activation of apoA-I gene in human monocytes and macrophages. At the same time, TNFα differently regulated the levels of PPARα, LXRα, and LXRβ binding to the apoA-I gene promoter in THP-1 cells. Obtained results suggest a novel tissue-specific mechanism of the TNFα-mediated regulation of apoA-I gene in monocytes and macrophages and show that endogenous ApoA-I might be positively regulated in macrophage during inflammation.
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