Cyclic GMP-dependent protein kinase II is necessary for macrophage M1 polarization and phagocytosis via toll-like receptor 2

Wei Ting Liao, Huey Ling You, Changgui Li, Jan Gowth Chang, Shun Jen Chang*, Chung Jen Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

14 Scopus citations


Abstract: Cyclic GMP-dependent protein kinase II (cGKII; PRKG2) phosphorylates a variety of biological targets and has been identified as a gout-susceptible gene. However, the regulatory role of cGKII in triggering gout disease has yet to be clarified. Thus, we plan to explore the specific function of cGKII in macrophages related to gout disease. By using cGKII gene knockdown method, we detected macrophage M1/M2 polarization, phagocytosis, and their responses to stimulation by monosodium urate (MSU). cGKII was highly expressed in M1 phenotype, but not in M2, and cGKII knockdown significantly inhibited macrophage M1 polarization by decreasing M1 chemokine markers (CXCL10 and CCL2) and downregulating phagocytosis function. We further identified that cGKII-associated phagocytosis was mediated by upregulating toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) expression, but not by TLR4. Mimicking gout condition by MSU treatments, we found that MSU alone induced cGKII and TLR2 expression with increased M1 polarization markers and phagocytosis activity. It means that cGKII knockdown significantly inhibited this MSU-induced cGKII-TLR2-phagocytosis axis. Our study showed that cGKII plays a key role in M1 polarization, especially in TLR2-mediated phagocytosis under MSU exposure. The findings provide evidence for the possible role of cGKII as an inflammation exciter in gout disease. Key message: Gout-susceptible gene cGKII is necessary for macrophage M1 polarization.cGKII regulates M1 phagocytosis function via TLR2.Monosodium urate treatments increase cGKII expression and related function.This study reveals the role of cGKII in enhancing gouty inflammatory responses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)523-533
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Molecular Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - 01 05 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


  • Monosodium urate
  • Phagocytosis
  • TLR2
  • cGKII


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