HMGB1 induces an inflammatory response in endothelial cells via the RAGE-dependent endoplasmic reticulum stress pathway

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2013 Sep 6;438(4):732-8. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2013.07.098. Epub 2013 Jul 31.


The high mobility group 1B protein (HMGB1) mediates chronic inflammatory responses in endothelial cells, which play a critical role in atherosclerosis. However, the underlying mechanism is unknown. The goal of our study was to identify the effects of HMGB1 on the RAGE-induced inflammatory response in endothelial cells and test the possible involvement of the endoplasmic reticulum stress pathway. Our results showed that incubation of endothelial cells with HMGB1 (0.01-1 μg/ml) for 24h induced a dose-dependent activation of endoplasmic reticulum stress transducers, as assessed by PERK and IRE1 protein expression. Moreover, HMGB1 also promoted nuclear translocation of ATF6. HMGB1-mediated ICAM-1 and P-selectin production was dramatically suppressed by PERK siRNA or IRE1 siRNA. However, non-targeting siRNA had no such effects. HMGB1-induced increases in ICAM-1 and P-selectin expression were also inhibited by a specific eIF2α inhibitor (salubrinal) and a specific JNK inhibitor (SP600125). Importantly, a blocking antibody specifically targeted against RAGE (anti-RAGE antibody) decreased ICAM-1, P-selectin and endoplasmic reticulum stress molecule (PERK, eIF2α, IRE1 and JNK) protein expression levels. Collectively, these novel findings suggest that HMGB1 promotes an inflammatory response by inducing the expression of ICAM-1 and P-selectin via RAGE-mediated stimulation of the endoplasmic reticulum stress pathway.

Keywords: HMGB1; ICAM-1; IRE1; P-selectin; PERK; RAGE.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress*
  • Endothelial Cells / immunology*
  • HMGB1 Protein / immunology*
  • Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells
  • Humans
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 / immunology
  • P-Selectin / immunology
  • Receptor for Advanced Glycation End Products
  • Receptors, Immunologic / immunology*
  • Signal Transduction


  • HMGB1 Protein
  • P-Selectin
  • Receptor for Advanced Glycation End Products
  • Receptors, Immunologic
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1