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Biochem Pharmacol. 2005 Oct 15;70(8):1231-40.

The regulation of the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase by Src-family tyrosine kinases mediated through MyD88-independent signaling pathways of Toll-like receptor 4.

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  • 1Department of Nutrition, University of California-Davis, ARS, Western Human Nutrition Research Center, Meyer Hall, 95616, USA.


Bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) activates Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) leading to the expression of inflammatory gene products. Src-family tyrosine kinases (STKs) are known to be activated by LPS in monocytes/macrophages. Therefore, we determined the role of STKs in TLR4 signaling pathways and target gene expression in macrophages. The activation of NFkappaB, and p38 MAPK, and the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) induced by LPS were not affected in macrophages deficient in three STKs (Lyn, Hck, and Fgr). These results suggest that the deletion of the three STKs among possibly nine STKs is not sufficient to abolish total activity of STKs possibly due to the functional redundancy of other STKs present in macrophages. However, two structurally unrelated pan-inhibitors of STKs, PP1 and SU6656, suppressed LPS-induced iNOS expression in MyD88-knockout as well as wild-type macrophages. The suppression of iNOS expression by the inhibitors was correlated with the downregulation of IFNbeta (a MyD88-independent gene) expression and subsequent decrease in STAT1 phosphorylation. Moreover, PP1 suppressed the expression of IFNbeta and iNOS induced by TRIF, a MyD88-independent adaptor of TLR4. PP1 suppressed STAT1 phosphorylation induced by LPS, but not by IFNbeta suggesting that STKs are involved in the primary downstream signaling pathways of TLR4, but not the secondary signaling pathways downstream of IFNbeta receptor. Together, these results demonstrate that STKs play a positive regulatory role in TLR4-mediated iNOS expression in a MyD88-independent (TRIF-dependent) manner. These results provide new insight in understanding the role of STKs in TLR4 signaling pathways and inflammatory target gene expression.

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