Sci Rep . 2019 Nov 22;9(1):17369. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-53910-y.

Transcription modulation by CDK9 regulates inflammatory genes and RIPK3-MLKL-mediated necroptosis in periodontitis progression

Jiao Li  1   2 Jiahong Shi  2   3 Yue Pan  2 Yunhe Zhao  2 Fuhua Yan  2   3 Houxuan Li  4   5 Lang Lei  6   7 Affiliations

Free PMC article


Cyclin-dependent kinase 9 (CDK9), one crucial molecule in promoting the transition from transcription pausing to elongation, is a critical modulator of cell survival and death. However, the pathological function of CDK9 in bacterial inflammatory diseases has never been explored. CDK9 inhibition or knock-down attenuated Porphyromonas gingivalis-triggered inflammatory gene expression. Gene-expression microarray analysis of monocytes revealed that knock-down of CDK9 not only affected inflammatory responses, but also impacted cell death network, especially the receptor-interacting protein kinase 3 (RIPK3)-mixed lineage kinase domain-like (MLKL)-mediated necroptosis after P. gingivalis infection. Inhibition of CDK9 significantly decreased necroptosis with downregulation of both MLKL and phosphorylated MLKL. By regulating caspase-8 and cellular FLICE inhibitory protein (cFLIP), key molecules in regulating cell survival and death, CDK9 affected not only the classic RIPK1-RIPK3-mediated necroptosis, but also the alternate TIR-domain-containing adapter-inducing interferon-β-RIPK3-mediated necroptosis. CDK9 inhibition dampened pro-inflammatory gene production in the acute infection process in the subcutaneous chamber model in vivo. Moreover, CDK9 inhibition contributed to the decreased periodontal bone loss and inflammatory response induced by P. gingivalis in the periodontal micro-environment. In conclusion, by modulating the RIPK3-MLKL-mediated necroptosis, CDK9 inhibition provided a novel mechanism to impact the progress of bacterial infection in the periodontal milieu.