Peptidylarginine deiminase 4 (PAD4) is a nuclear citrullinating enzyme that is critically involved in the release of decondensed chromatin from neutrophils as neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs). NETs, together with fibrin, are implicated in host defense against pathogens; however, the formation of NETs (NETosis) has injurious effects that may outweigh their protective role. For example, PAD4 activity produces citrullinated neoantigens that promote autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, to which PAD4 is genetically linked and where NETosis is prominent. NETs are also generated in basic sterile inflammatory responses that are induced by many inflammatory stimuli, including cytokines, hypoxia, and activated platelets. Mice that lack PAD4-deficient in NETosis-serve as an excellent tool with which to study the importance of NETs in disease models. In recent years, animal and human studies have demonstrated that NETs contribute to the etiology and propagation of many common noninfectious diseases, the focus of our review. We will discuss the role of NETs in thrombotic and cardiovascular disease, the induction of NETs by cancers and its implications for cancer progression and cancer-associated thrombosis, and elevated NETosis in diabetes and its negative impact on wound healing, and will propose a link between PAD4/NETs and age-related organ fibrosis. We identify unresolved issues and new research directions.-Wong, S. L., Wagner, D. D. Peptidylarginine deiminase 4: a nuclear button triggering neutrophil extracellular traps in inflammatory diseases and aging.
Keywords: NETs; PAD4; cancer; diabetes; thrombosis.