Interferon regulatory factor (IRF)-1 is a nuclear transcription factor that induces inflammatory cytokine mediators and contributes to hepatic ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury. No strategies to mitigate IRF1-mediated liver damage exist. IRF2 is a structurally similar endogenous protein that competes with IRF1 for DNA binding sites in IRF-responsive target genes and acts as a competitive inhibitor. However, the role of IRF2 in hepatic injury during hypoxic or inflammatory conditions is unknown. We hypothesize that IRF2 overexpression may mitigate IRF1-mediated I/R damage. Endogenous IRF2 is basally expressed in normal livers and is mildly increased by ischemia alone. Overexpression of IRF2 protects against hepatic warm I/R injury. Furthermore, we demonstrate that IRF2 overexpression limits production of IRF1-dependent proinflammatory genes, such as IL-12, IFNβ, and inducible nitric oxide synthase, even in the presence of IRF1 induction. Additionally, isograft liver transplantation with IRF2 heterozygote knockout (IRF2+/-) donor grafts that have reduced endogenous IRF2 levels results in worse injury following cold I/R during murine orthotopic liver transplantation. These findings indicate that endogenous intrahepatic IRF2 protein is protective, because the IRF2-deficient liver donor grafts exhibited increased liver damage compared with the wild-type donor grafts. In summary, IRF2 overexpression protects against I/R injury by decreasing IRF1- dependent injury and may represent a novel therapeutic strategy.
|Journal||American Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology|
|Publication status||Published - Sep 1 2012|
- Interferon regulatory factor-1
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)