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Cell Death Dis. 2018 Aug 28;9(9):847. doi: 10.1038/s41419-018-0838-9.

Overexpression of homeodomain-interacting protein kinase 2 (HIPK2) attenuates sepsis-mediated liver injury by restoring autophagy.

Author information

1
Faculty of Anesthesiology, Changhai Hospital, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, 200433, China.
2
Department of Cell Biology, School of Basic Medicine, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, 200433, China.
3
School of Life Science, Nanjing University, 210023, Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China.
4
State Key Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Nanjing University, 210023, Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China.
5
Faculty of Anesthesiology, Changhai Hospital, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, 200433, China. yuxiyash@163.com.
6
Faculty of Anesthesiology, Changhai Hospital, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, 200433, China. deng_x@yahoo.com.

Abstract

Sepsis is the leading cause of death in intensive care units worldwide. Autophagy has recently been shown to protect against sepsis-induced liver injury. Here, we investigated the roles of homeodomain-interacting protein kinase 2 (HIPK2) in the molecular mechanism of sepsis-induced liver injury. HIPK2 expression was reduced in sepsis-induced liver injury, and HIPK2 overexpression increased the survival rate and improved caecal ligation and puncture (CLP)-induced liver injury by reducing serum and liver aspartate transaminase (AST), alanine transaminase (ALT), and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) levels in mice with sepsis. HIPK2 overexpression significantly decreased CLP-induced release of inflammatory cytokines into the serum and attenuated oxidative stress-associated indicators in mice with CLP-induced liver injury, whereas HIPK2 knockdown produced the opposite results, suggesting that HIPK2 is a negative regulator of sepsis. Furthermore, HIPK2 overexpression inhibited lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced apoptosis of primary hepatocytes, increased the autophagic flux, and restored both autophagosome and autolysosome formation in the livers of CLP-induced mice by suppressing calpain signalling. Importantly, HIPK2 overexpression reduced the elevated cytosolic Ca2+ concentration in LPS-treated primary hepatocytes by interacting with calpain 1 and calmodulin. Finally, several anti-inflammatory drugs, including resveratrol, aspirin, vitamin E and ursolic acid, significantly increased the levels of the HIPK2 mRNA and protein by modulating promoter activity and the 3'-UTR stability of the HIPK2 gene. In conclusion, HIPK2 overexpression may improve sepsis-induced liver injury by restoring autophagy and thus might be a promising target for the clinical treatment of sepsis.

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