Co-regulation of nuclear respiratory factor-1 by NFkappaB and CREB links LPS-induced inflammation to mitochondrial biogenesis.

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The nuclear respiratory factor-1 (NRF1) gene is activated by lipopolysaccharide (LPS), which might reflect TLR4-mediated mitigation of cellular inflammatory damage via initiation of mitochondrial biogenesis. To test this hypothesis, we examined NRF1 promoter regulation by NFκB, and identified interspecies-conserved κB-responsive promoter and intronic elements in the NRF1 locus. In mice, activation of Nrf1 and its downstream target, Tfam, by Escherichia coli was contingent on NFκB, and in LPS-treated hepatocytes, NFκB served as an NRF1 enhancer element in conjunction with NFκB promoter binding. Unexpectedly, optimal NRF1 promoter activity after LPS also required binding by the energy-state-dependent transcription factor CREB. EMSA and ChIP assays confirmed p65 and CREB binding to the NRF1 promoter and p65 binding to intron 1. Functionality for both transcription factors was validated by gene-knockdown studies. LPS regulation of NRF1 led to mtDNA-encoded gene expression and expansion of mtDNA copy number. In cells expressing plasmid constructs containing the NRF-1 promoter and GFP, LPS-dependent reporter activity was abolished by cis-acting κB-element mutations, and nuclear accumulation of NFκB and CREB demonstrated dependence on mitochondrial H(2)O(2). These findings indicate that TLR4-dependent NFκB and CREB activation co-regulate the NRF1 promoter with NFκB intronic enhancement and redox-regulated nuclear translocation, leading to downstream target-gene expression, and identify NRF-1 as an early-phase component of the host antibacterial defenses.





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Suliman, Hagir B, Timothy E Sweeney, Crystal M Withers and Claude A Piantadosi (2010). Co-regulation of nuclear respiratory factor-1 by NFkappaB and CREB links LPS-induced inflammation to mitochondrial biogenesis. J Cell Sci, 123(Pt 15). pp. 2565–2575. 10.1242/jcs.064089 Retrieved from

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Hagir B. Suliman

Associate Professor in Anesthesiology

Dr. Suliman is an expert in the molecular and cell biology of mammalian diseases, particularly in the molecular regulation of oxidant inflammatory responses in the heart and lung. She has a strong interest and expertise in the transcriptional control of cell metabolism, especially mitochondrial biogenesis and mitochondrial-mediated apoptosis and necrosis. Her recent publications have focused on the redox-regulation of nuclear transcription factors involved in both mitochondrial biogenesis and cellular adaptation to oxidative and nitrosative stress. Specifically, she has undertaken promoter analyses of nuclear respiratory factors-1 and -2 that indicate that these transcription factor genes are controlled by redox-regulated signaling networks activated by reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, and carbon monoxide. Dr. Suliman and her colleagues have reported that the cancer chemotherapeutic, doxorubicin, disrupts cardiac mitochondrial biogenesis through mitochondrial oxidant production, which promotes intrinsic apoptosis, while heme oxygenase-1 up-regulates adaptive mitochondrial biogenesis and opposes apoptosis through close regulation of mitochondrial ROS signaling by physiological CO production, thus forestalling fibrosis and cardiomyopathy. Most recently I have been defining the role of mitochondrial transcription factors in regulating cell survival, proliferation and differentiation including in embryonic stem cells and pluripotent cells.


Claude Anthony Piantadosi

Professor Emeritus of Medicine

Dr. Piantadosi's laboratory has special expertise in the pathogenic mechanisms of acute organ failure, particularly acute lung injury (ALI), with an emphasis on the molecular regulatory roles of the physiological gases— oxygen, carbon monoxide, and nitric oxide— as they relate to the damage responses to acute inflammation. The basic science focuses on oxidative processes and redox-regulation, especially the molecular mechanisms by which reactive oxygen and nitrogen species transmit biological signals involved in the maintenance of energy metabolism and mitochondrial health, but also contribute to pathogenesis and to the resolution of tissue injury.

Clinically, ALI and the related syndrome of multiple organ failure has a high mortality, which is related to the host inflammatory response, but is not well understood scientifically; thus, the laboratory is devoted to understanding these mechanisms in the context of the host response to relevant but well-controlled experimental manipulations including hyperoxia, bacterial infections, toxic drugs, and cytokine/chemokine signals. The approach relies on animal models, mainly transgenic and knockout mice, and cell models, especially lung and heart cells to evaluate and understand the physiology, pathology, and cell and molecular biology of the injury responses, to test independent and integrated mechanisms, and to devise interventions to prevent damage.

Apart from the lung, significant work is devoted to understanding damage to the heart, brain, liver, and kidney caused by these immune mechanisms, specifically emphasizing the role of mitochondria, key targets and sources of oxidative damage. This damage compromises their ability to support energy homeostasis and advanced cellular functions, and impacts on the important roles these organelles play in cell death by apoptosis and necrosis as well as in the resolution of cellular damage and inflammation.

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