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J Immunol. 2010 Jul 1;185(1):597-604. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.0901798. Epub 2010 Jun 4.

TLR2- and nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain 2-dependent Krüppel-like factor 2 expression downregulates NF-kappa B-related gene expression.

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Department of Internal Medicine/Infectious Diseases and Respiratory Medicine, Charité University Medicine Berlin, Berlin, Germany.


The release of potent proinflammatory mediators is not only central for mounting an efficient host response, but also bears the risk for deleterious excessive tissue-damaging inflammation. This is highlighted in severe pneumococcal pneumonia, in which the delicate balance between a robust inflammatory response to kill pneumococci and loss of organ function determines the outcome of disease. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that Krüppel-like factor (KLF)2 counterregulates pneumococci- and pattern recognition receptor-related human lung cell activation. Pneumococci induced KLF2 expression in vitro and in a murine pneumonia model. Activation of TLR2- and nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain protein 2-related signaling induced KLF2 expression in a PI3K-dependent manner. Overexpression of KLF2 downregulated pneumococci-, TLR2-, and nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain protein 2-related NF-kappaB-dependent gene expression and IL-8 release, whereas small interfering RNA-based silencing of KLF2 provoked an enhanced inflammatory response. KLF2-dependent downregulation of NF-kappaB activity is partly reversible by overexpression of the histone acetylase p300/CREB-binding protein-associated factor. In conclusion, KLF2 may act as a counterregulatory transcription factor in pneumococci- and pattern recognition receptor-related proinflammatory activation of lung cells, thereby preventing lung hyperinflammation and subsequent organ failure.

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