DNA-mediated proteolysis by neutrophil elastase enhances binding activities of the HMGB1 proteinNeutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) are produced through ejection of genomic DNA by neutrophils into extracellular space and serve as a weapon to fight against pathogens. Neutrophil elastase, a serine protease loaded on NETs, attacks and kills pathogens, while extracellular high-mobility-group-box-1 (HMGB1) protein serves as a danger signal to other cells. How the action of these factors is coordinated as part of the innate immune response is not fully understood. In this article, using biochemical and biophysical approaches, we demonstrate that DNA mediates specific proteolysis of HMGB1 by neutrophil elastase and that the proteolytic processing remarkably enhances binding activities of extracellular HMGB1.
Molecular insights into the interaction between human nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase and Toll-like receptor 4The secreted form of the enzyme nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT), which catalyzes a key reaction in intracellular NAD biosynthesis, acts as a damage-associated molecular pattern triggering Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4)-mediated inflammatory responses. However, the precise mechanism of interaction is unclear. Using an integrated approach combining bioinformatics and functional and structural analyses, we investigated the interaction between NAMPT and TLR4 at the molecular level. Starting from previous evidence that the bacterial ortholog of NAMPT cannot elicit the inflammatory response, despite a high degree of structural conservation, two positively charged areas unique to the human enzyme (the α1-α2 and β1-β2 loops) were identified as likely candidates for TLR4 binding.