Caspase-11, a cytosolic endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide: LPS) receptor, mediates pyroptosis, a lytic form of cell death. Caspase-11-dependent pyroptosis mediates lethality in endotoxemia, but it is unclear how LPS is delivered into the cytosol for the activation of caspase-11. Here we discovered that hepatocyte-released high mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) was required for caspase-11-dependent pyroptosis and lethality in endotoxemia and bacterial sepsis. Mechanistically, hepatocyte-released HMGB1 bound LPS and targeted its internalization into the lysosomes of macrophages and endothelial cells via the receptor for advanced glycation end-products (RAGE). Subsequently, HMGB1 permeabilized the phospholipid bilayer in the acidic environment of lysosomes. This resulted in LPS leakage into the cytosol and caspase-11 activation. Depletion of hepatocyte HMGB1, inhibition of hepatocyte HMGB1 release, neutralizing extracellular HMGB1, or RAGE deficiency prevented caspase-11-dependent pyroptosis and death in endotoxemia and bacterial sepsis. These findings indicate that HMGB1 interacts with LPS to mediate caspase-11-dependent pyroptosis in lethal sepsis.
Keywords: HMGB1; caspase-11; endotoxemia; inflammasome; pyroptosis; sepsis.
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