Send to

Choose Destination
Nat Commun. 2016 Oct 25;7:13280. doi: 10.1038/ncomms13280.

PKM2-dependent glycolysis promotes NLRP3 and AIM2 inflammasome activation.

Author information

Department of Pediatrics, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410008, China.
Department of Surgery, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15219, USA.
Center of DAMP Biology, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510510, China.
State Key Laboratory of Trauma, Burns and Combined Injury, Research Institute of Surgery, Research institute for Traffic Medicine of People's Liberation Army, Daping Hospital, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing 400042, China.
Laboratory of Emergency Medicine, The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, Manhasset, New York 11030, USA.


Sepsis, severe sepsis and septic shock are the main cause of mortality in non-cardiac intensive care units. Immunometabolism has been linked to sepsis; however, the precise mechanism by which metabolic reprogramming regulates the inflammatory response is unclear. Here we show that aerobic glycolysis contributes to sepsis by modulating inflammasome activation in macrophages. PKM2-mediated glycolysis promotes inflammasome activation by modulating EIF2AK2 phosphorylation in macrophages. Pharmacological and genetic inhibition of PKM2 or EIF2AK2 attenuates NLRP3 and AIM2 inflammasomes activation, and consequently suppresses the release of IL-1β, IL-18 and HMGB1 by macrophages. Pharmacological inhibition of the PKM2-EIF2AK2 pathway protects mice from lethal endotoxemia and polymicrobial sepsis. Moreover, conditional knockout of PKM2 in myeloid cells protects mice from septic death induced by NLRP3 and AIM2 inflammasome activation. These findings define an important role of PKM2 in immunometabolism and guide future development of therapeutic strategies to treat sepsis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Conflict of interest statement

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Publication types, MeSH terms, Substances, Grant support

Publication types

MeSH terms


Grant support

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center