IRAK regulates macrophage foam cell formation by modulating genes involved in cholesterol uptake and efflux

Minakshi Rana, Amit Kumar, Rajiv Lochan Tiwari, Vishal Singh, Tulika Chandra, Madhu Dikshit, Manoj Kumar Barthwal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase-1 (IRAK1) is linked to the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis; however, its role in macrophage foam cell formation is not known. Therefore, the present study investigated the role of IRAK1 in lipid uptake, biosynthesis, and efflux in THP-1 derived macrophages and human monocyte-derived macrophages (HMDMs). Ox-LDL (40 μg/mL, 15 minutes–48 hours) treatment induced time-dependent increase in IRAK1, IRAK4, and Stat1 activation in THP-1 derived macrophages. IRAK1/4 inhibitor (INH) or IRAK1 siRNA significantly attenuated cholesterol accumulation, DiI-Ox-LDL binding, and uptake while cholesterol efflux to apoAI and HDL was enhanced in THP-1 derived macrophages and HMDMs. Ox-LDL treatment significantly increased the mRNA expression of CD36, LOX-1, SR-A, ABCA1, ABCG1, Caveolin-1, CYP27A1 while that of SR-BI was decreased. IRAK1/4 inhibition or IRAK1 knockdown, however, attenuated Ox-LDL-induced CD36 expression; augmented ABCA1 and ABCG1 expression while expression of others was unaffected in THP-1 derived macrophages and HMDMs. Moreover, IRAK1/4 inhibition had no significant effect on genes involved in lipid biosynthesis. In IRAK1/4 INH pre-treated THP-1 derived macrophages Ox-LDL-induced Stat1 phosphorylation and its binding to CD36 promoter was significantly attenuated while LXRα expression and its binding to the ABCA1/ABCG1 locus, NFATc2 activation and its binding to ABCA1 locus was enhanced. The present study thus demonstrates that IRAK regulates lipid accumulation by modulating CD36-mediated uptake and ABCA1-, ABCG1-dependent cholesterol efflux. Therefore, IRAK1 can be a potential target for preventing macrophage foam cell formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)591-604
Number of pages14
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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