Inflammation.2020 Dec;43(6):2061-2074.doi: 10.1007/s10753-020-01274-1.

Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 9 Inhibition Suppresses Necroptosis and Pyroptosis in the Progress of Endotoxemia

Jiao Li  1   2 Huimin Mao  2 Yue Pan  2 Houxuan Li  3 Lang Lei  4 Affiliations

Abstract

The host innate immune response stands at the first line of defense against the outburst of pathogen invasion and their byproduct release. The balanced and coordinated expression of genes in normal immune responses is compromised in the progress of endotoxemia with exacerbated inflammation and massive cell death. In the present study, we identified cyclin-dependent kinase 9 (CDK9), the functional subunit of the positive transcription elongation factor b, as a master regulator of inflammatory gene transcription in the process of promoter-proximal pausing to productive elongation. Therapeutic pharmacological inhibition of CDK9 by flavopiridol (FVD) rescued mice from death in experimental models of fatal endotoxemia. In addition to alleviation of the cytokine storm in the circulation system following lethal endotoxin injection, FVD treatment significantly dampened the onset of inflammation in the livers and lungs and reduced the necroptosis and pyroptosis in livers. Moreover, CDK9 inhibition reduced inflammatory cytokine release and decreased cell death in the pro-inflammatory pyroptotic and necroptotic cell death pathway in monocytes in responses to lipopolysaccharide. In conclusion, CDK9 inhibition may affect the progress of endotoxemia by dampening inflammation and cell death including necroptosis and pyroptosis.

Keywords: cell death; cyclin-dependent kinase 9; endotoxemia; inflammation.

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