The C-terminal acidic tail is responsible for the inhibitory effects of HMGB1 on efferocytosis

Academic Article


  • HMGB1 was described originally as a nuclear protein involved in DNA binding and transcriptional regulation. However, HMGB1 also has an extracellular role as a potent mediator of inflammation and can diminish the uptake of apoptotic cells by phagocytes, a process called efferocytosis. To explore the mechanism responsible for the ability of HMGB1 to inhibit efferocytosis, we examined the role of the C-terminal acidic tail, a region of HMGB1 that has been shown to participate in specific intramolecular interactions. Deletion of the C-terminal tail abrogated the ability of HMGB1 to decrease murine macrophage ingestion of apoptotic neutrophils and to diminish phagocytosis-induced activation of Erk and Rac-1 in macrophages. We found that RAGE plays a major role in efferocytosis, and deletion of the C-terminal tail of HMGB1 prevented binding of HMGB1 to RAGE but not to other macrophage receptors involved in efferocytosis, such as the α β integrin. Whereas HMGB1 decreased ingestion of apoptotic neutrophils significantly by alveolar macrophages under in vivo conditions in the lungs of mice, this effect was lost when the C-terminal acidic tail was absent from HMGB1. These results demonstrate that the HMGB1 C-terminal tail is responsible for the inhibitory effects of HMGB1 on phagocytosis of apoptotic neutrophils under in vitro and in vivo conditions. © Society for Leukocyte Biology. V 3
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Banerjee S; Friggeri A; Liu G; Abraham E
  • Start Page

  • 973
  • End Page

  • 979
  • Volume

  • 88
  • Issue

  • 5