Inhibition of Histone Deacetylases Permits Lipopolysaccharide-Mediated Secretion of Bioactive IL-1β via a Caspase-1-Independent Mechanism

Histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors (HDACi) are clinically approved anticancer drugs that have important immune-modulatory properties. We report the surprising finding that HDACi promote LPS-induced IL-1β processing and secretion in human and murine dendritic cells and murine macrophages. HDACi/LPS-induced IL-1β maturation and secretion kinetics differed completely from those observed upon inflammasome activation. Moreover, this pathway of IL-1β secretion was dependent on caspase-8 but was independent of the inflammasome components NACHT, LRR, and PYD domains-containing protein 3, apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a carboxyl-terminal caspase-recruitment domain, and caspase-1. Genetic studies excluded HDAC6 and HDAC10 as relevant HDAC targets in this pathway, whereas pharmacological inhibitor studies implicated the involvement of HDAC11. Treatment of mice with HDACi in a dextran sodium sulfate-induced colitis model resulted in a strong increase in intestinal IL-1β, confirming that this pathway is also operative in vivo. Thus, in addition to the conventional inflammasome-dependent IL-1β cleavage pathway, dendritic cells and macrophages are capable of generating, secreting, and processing bioactive IL-1β by a novel, caspase-8-dependent mechanism. Given the widespread interest in the therapeutic targeting of IL-1β, as well as the use of HDACi for anti-inflammatory applications, these findings have substantial clinical implications.

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