TBK1/IKKϵ Negatively Regulate LPS-Induced Neutrophil Necroptosis and Lung Inflammation

Jieyan Wang, Yingyi Luan, Erica K. Fan, Melanie J. Scott, Yuehua Li, Timothy R. Billiar, Mark A. Wilson, Yong Jiang*, Jie Fan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Cell necroptosis, a form of regulated inflammatory cell death, is one of the mechanisms that controls cell release of inflammatory mediators from innate immune cells, such as polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMNs), and critically regulates the progress of inflammation. Cell necroptosis features receptor-interacting protein (RIPK) 1 activation and necroptosome formation. This leads to loss of plasma membrane integrity, the release of cell contents into the extracellular space, and subsequent increased inflammation. Here, we report an intra-PMN mechanism of negative regulation of necroptosis mediated through TBK1/IKKϵ. Using an in vivo mouse model of intratracheal injection (i.t.) of LPS and in vitro LPS stimulation of mouse PMN, we found that LPS-TLR4 signaling in PMNs activates and phosphorylates TBK1 and IKKϵ, which in turn suppress LPS-induced formation of the RIPK1-RIPK3-MLKL (necrosome) complex. TBK1 dysfunction by knockdown or inhibitor significantly increases the phosphorylation of RIPK1 (∼67%), RIPK3 (∼68%), and MLKL (∼50%) and promotes RIPK1-RIPK3 and RIPK3-MLKL interactions and increases PMN necroptosis (∼83%) in response to LPS, with subsequent augmented lung inflammation. These findings suggest that the LPS-TLR4-TBK1 axis serves as a negative regulator for PMN necroptosis and might be a therapeutic target for modulating PMN death and inflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)338-348
Number of pages11
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute lung injury
  • IKK
  • TBK1
  • cell death
  • inflammation
  • necroptosis
  • neutrophils
  • sepsis


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