Research ArticleInflammation

MerTK signaling in macrophages promotes the synthesis of inflammation resolution mediators by suppressing CaMKII activity

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Science Signaling  25 Sep 2018:
Vol. 11, Issue 549, eaar3721
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aar3721

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Promoting resolution

The active and coordinated process of inflammation resolution is critical for tissue homeostasis, and defective resolution is associated with chronic inflammatory diseases. Specialized proresolving mediators (SPMs) are fatty acid derivatives that counteract the effects of proinflammatory factors, triggering resolution and tissue repair. SPM biosynthesis depends on the cytosolic localization of the nonphosphorylated form of the lipoxygenase 5-LOX, whereas the nuclear translocation of phosphorylated 5-LOX results in inflammatory leukotriene production. Cai et al. showed that signaling by the efferocytosis receptor MerTK in macrophages activated an ERK-dependent pathway that inhibited the phosphorylation of 5-LOX, thus promoting SPM production. Inhibition of ERK activation in a mouse model of peritonitis delayed resolution, suggesting that the MerTK-ERK pathway might be therapeutically manipulated to promote inflammation resolution.