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Inhibition of Interleukin 1 (IL-1) Expression by Anthrax Lethal Toxin (LeTx) Is Reversed by Histone Deacetylase 8 (HDAC8) Inhibition in Murine Macrophages

Ha, SD;Reid, C;Meshkibaf, S;Kim, SO;

Many pathogenic microbes often release toxins that subvert the host’s immune responses to render the environment suitable for their survival and proliferation. LeTx is one of the toxins causing immune paralysis by cleaving and inactivating the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) kinases (MEKs). Here, we show that inhibition of the histone deacetylase 8 (HDAC8) by either the HDAC8-specific inhibitor PCI-34051 or small interference (si)RNAs rendered LeTx-exposed murine macrophages responsive to LPS in pro-IL-1 production. HDAC8 selectively targeted acetylated histone H3 lysine 27 (H3K27Ac), which is known to associate with active enhancers. LeTx induced HDAC8 expression, in part through inhibiting p38 MAPK, which resulted in a decrease of H3K27Ac levels. Inhibition of HDAC8 increased H3K27Ac levels and enhanced NF-B-mediated pro-IL-1 enhancer and messenger RNA production in LeTx-exposed macrophages. Collectively, this study demonstrates a novel role of HDAC8 in LeTx immunotoxicity and regulation of pro-IL-1 production likely through eRNAs. Targeting HDAC8 could be a strategy for enhancing immune responses in macrophages exposed to LeTx or other toxins that inhibit MAPKs.