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J Exp Med. 2006 Jan 23;203(1):15-20. Epub 2005 Dec 27.

Dual specificity phosphatase 1 (DUSP1) regulates a subset of LPS-induced genes and protects mice from lethal endotoxin shock.

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  • 1Institute of Medical Microbiology, Immunology, and Hygiene, Technical University Munich, 81675 Munich, Germany.


Activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascade after Toll-like receptor stimulation enables innate immune cells to rapidly activate cytokine gene expression. A balanced response to signals of infectious danger requires that cellular activation is transient. Here, we identify the MAPK phosphatase dual specificity phosphatase 1 (DUSP1) as an essential endogenous regulator of the inflammatory response to lipopolysaccharide (LPS). DUSP1-deficient (DUSP1-/-) bone marrow-derived macrophages showed selectively prolonged activation of p38 MAPK and increased cytokine production. Intraperitoneal challenge of DUSP1-/- mice with LPS caused increased lethality and overshooting production of interleukin (IL)-6 and tumor necrosis factor alpha. Transcriptional profiling revealed that DUSP1 controls a significant fraction of LPS-induced genes, which includes IL-6 and IL-10 as well as the chemokines CCL3, CCL4, and CXCL2. In contrast, the expression of the important mediators of endotoxin lethality, interferon gamma and IL-12, was not significantly altered by the absence of DUSP1. These data together demonstrate a specific regulatory role of DUSP1 in controlling a subset of LPS-induced genes that determines the outcome of endotoxin shock.

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