PYR-41, A Ubiquitin-Activating Enzyme E1 Inhibitor, Attenuates Lung Injury in Sepsis

Shingo Matsuo, Archna Sharma, Ping Wang, Weng Lang Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


During sepsis, systemic inflammation is observed and is associated with multiple organ failure. Activation of NF-κB is crucial for inducing inflammation, which is controlled by degradation of inhibitor molecules (IκB). The ubiquitination proteasome pathway is responsible for the regulation of protein turnover. In this study, we hypothesized that administration of 4[4-(5-nitro-furan-2-ylmethylene)-3, -dioxo-pyrazolidin-1-yl]-benzoic acid ethyl ester (PYR-41), an inhibitor of ubiquitination, could reduce inflammation and organ injury in septic mice. PYR-41 prevented the reduction of IκB protein levels and inhibited release of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α in mouse macrophage RAW264.7 cells at 4h after lipopolysaccharide stimulation dose-dependently. Male C57BL/6 mice were subjected to cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) to induce sepsis. PYR-41 (5mg/kg) or dimethyl sulfoxide in saline (vehicle) was injected intravenously immediately after CLP. At 20h after CLP, PYR-41 treatment significantly decreased serum levels of proinflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, interleukin [IL]-1β, and IL-6) and organ injury markers (aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, and lactate dehydrogenase). PYR-41 significantly improved microscopic structure, and reduced myeloperoxidase activity, number of apoptotic cells and caspase-3 degradation in the lungs of septic mice. The reduced protein levels of IκB in the lungs after CLP were restored by PYR-41 treatment. PYR-41 inhibited the expression of cytokines (IL-1β and IL-6), chemokines (keratinocyte-derived chemokine and macrophage inflammatory protein 2), and inflammatory mediators (cyclooxygenase-2 and inducible nitric oxide synthase) in the lungs of septic mice. Importantly, PYR-41 significantly increased 10-day survival in septic mice from 42% to 83%. Therefore, targeting ubiquitination by PYR-41 to inhibit NF-κB activation may represent a potential strategy of sepsis therapeutics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)442-450
Number of pages9
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • IκB
  • inflammation
  • lung injury
  • sepsis
  • ubiquitination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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