Inorganic polyphosphate (polyP) is a linear polymer of orthophosphate units that are linked by phosphoanhydride bonds and is involved in various pathophysiological processes. However, the role of polyP in immune cell dysfunction is not well-understood. In this study, using several biochemical and cell biology approaches, including cytokine assays, immunofluorescence microscopy, receptor-binding assays with quartz crystal microbalance, and dynamic light scanning, we investigated the effect of polyP on in vitro lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced macrophage inflammatory response. PolyP up-regulated LPS-induced production of the inflammatory cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor α, interleukin-1β, and interleukin-6, in macrophages, and the effect was polyP dose- and chain length-dependent. However, orthophosphate did not exhibit this effect. PolyP enhanced the LPS-induced intracellular macrophage inflammatory signals. Affinity analysis revealed that polyP interacts with LPS, inducing formation of small micelles, and the polyP-LPS complex enhanced the binding affinity of LPS to Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) on macrophages. These results suggest that inorganic polyP plays a critical role in promoting inflammatory response by enhancing the interaction between LPS and TLR4 in macrophages.
Keywords: LPS micelle formation; infection; inflammation; inflammatory response; lipopolysaccharide (LPS); macrophage; micelle; polyphosphate.
© 2020 Ito et al.