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Defective apoptotic cell contractility provokes sterile inflammation, leading to liver damage and tumour suppression

journal contribution
posted on 2023-01-31, 20:52 authored by Linda Julian, Gregory Naylor, Grant R Wickman, Nicola Rath, Giovanni Castino, David Stevenson, Sheila Bryson, June Munro, Lynn McGarry, Margaret Mullin, Alistair Rice, Armandodel Del Río Hernández, Michael OlsonMichael Olson

Apoptosis is characterized by profound morphological changes, but their physiological purpose is unknown. To characterize the role of apoptotic cell contraction, ROCK1 was rendered caspase non-cleavable (ROCK1nc) by mutating aspartate 1113, which revealed that ROCK1 cleavage was necessary for forceful contraction and membrane blebbing. When homozygous ROCK1nc mice were treated with the liver-selective apoptotic stimulus of diethylnitrosamine, ROCK1nc mice had more profound liver damage with greater neutrophil infiltration than wild-type mice. Inhibition of the damage-associated molecular pattern protein HMGB1 or signalling by its cognate receptor TLR4 lowered neutrophil infiltration and reduced liver damage. ROCK1nc mice also developed fewer diethylnitrosamine-induced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) tumours, while HMGB1 inhibition increased HCC tumour numbers. Thus, ROCK1 activation and consequent cell contraction are required to limit sterile inflammation and damage amplification following tissue-scale cell death. Additionally, these findings reveal a previously unappreciated role for acute sterile inflammation as an efficient tumour-suppressive mechanism.

 

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