Acta biochimica et biophysica Sinica

Recombinant CC16 protein inhibits the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines via NF-κB and p38 MAPK pathways in LPS-activated RAW264.7 macrophages.

PMID 28338974


Accumulating evidence indicates that Clara cell protein-16 (CC16) has anti-inflammatory functions, although the involved molecular pathways have not been completely elucidated. Here, we evaluated the effect of recombinant rat CC16 (rCC16) on the expression of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and IL-8 in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated mouse macrophages (RAW264.7 cells) and explored the underlying molecular mechanisms. It was found that rCC16 inhibited LPS-induced TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-8 expression at both the messenger ribonucleicacid (mRNA) level and protein level in a concentration-dependent manner, as demonstrated by real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Such suppressive effects were accompanied by the inhibition of transcriptional activity and the deoxyribonucleic acid binding activity of nuclear factor (NF)-κB but not activator protein (AP)-1. Western blot analysis further revealed that rCC16 inhibited the increase of nuclear NF-κB and the reduction of cytosolic NF-κB, the phosphorylation and reduction of NF-κB inhibitory protein IκBα, and the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)-dependent NF-κB activation by phosphorylation at Ser276 of its p65 subunit. Furthermore, rCC16 was found to have no effect on the phosphorylation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase, c-Jun, or the nuclear translocation of c-Jun. In addition, reduction of TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-8 were reversed when the level of endogenous uteroglobin-binding protein was reduced by RNA interference in rCC16- and LPS-treated RAW264.7 cells. Our data suggest that rCC16 suppresses LPS-mediated inflammatory mediator TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-8 production by inactivating NF-κB and p38 MAPK but not AP-1 in RAW264.7 cells.