Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is frequently associated with pathogen infection–induced chronic inflammation. Large numbers of innate immune cells are present in HCCs and can influence disease outcome. Here, we demonstrated that the tumor suppressor serine/threonine-protein kinase 4 (STK4) differentially regulates TLR3/4/9-mediated inflammatory responses in macrophages and thereby is protective against chronic inflammation–associated HCC. STK4 dampened TLR4/9-induced proinflammatory cytokine secretion but enhanced TLR3/4-triggered IFN-β production via binding to and phosphorylating IL-1 receptor–associated kinase 1 (IRAK1), leading to IRAK1 degradation. Notably, macrophage-specific Stk4 deletion resulted in chronic inflammation, liver fibrosis, and HCC in mice treated with a combination of diethylnitrosamine (DEN) and CCl4, along with either LPS or
Weiyun Li, Jun Xiao, Xin Zhou, Ming Xu, Chaobo Hu, Xiaoyan Xu, Yao Lu, Chang Liu, Shengjie Xue, Lei Nie, Haibin Zhang, Zhiqi Li, Yanbo Zhang, Fu Ji, Lijian Hui, Wufan Tao, Bin Wei, Hongyan Wang
Reduced STK4 expression is associated with DEN-induced HCC and excessive inflammation.