ER-to-lysosome Ca2+ refilling followed by K+ efflux-coupled store-operated Ca2+ entry in inflammasome activation and metabolic inflammation

  1. Severance Biomedical Science Institute, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul 03722, KOREA
  2. Department of Physiology and Ion Channel Disease Research Center, Dongguk University College of Medicine, Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do 38066, KOREA
  3. Department of Pharmacology and Brain Korea 21 Project for Medical Sciences, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul 03722, KOREA
  4. Department of Physiology, Ischemic/Hypoxic Disease Institute, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul 03080, KOREA
  5. Soonchunhyang Institute of Medi-bio Science and Division of Endocrinology, Department of Internal Medicine, Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine, Cheonan 31151, KOREA

Peer review process

Not revised: This Reviewed Preprint includes the authors’ original preprint (without revision), an eLife assessment, public reviews, and a response from the authors (if available).

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  • Reviewing Editor
    Alan Saltiel
    UC San Diego School of Medicine, San Diego, United States of America
  • Senior Editor
    Pramod Mistry
    Yale University, New Haven, United States of America

Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

This manuscript proposes a complex unclear model involving Ca2+ signaling in inflammasome activation. The experimental approaches used to study the calcium dynamics are problematic and the results shown are of inadequate quality. The major claims of this manuscript are not adequately substantiated.

Major concerns:

1. The analysis of lysosomal Ca2+release is being carried out after many hours of treatment. Such evidence is not meaningful to claim that PA activates Ca2+ efflux from lysosome and even if this phenomenon was robust, it is not doubtful that such kinetics are meaningful for the regulation of inflammasome activation. Furthermore, the evidence for lysosomal Ca2+ release is indirect and relies on a convoluted process that doesn't make any conceptual sense to me. In addition to these major shortcomings, the indirect evidence of perilysosomal Ca2+ elevation is also of very poor quality and from the standpoint of my expertise in calcium signaling, the data are incredulous. The use of GCaMP3-ML1, *transiently transfected* into BMDMs is highly problematic. The efficiency of transfection in BMDMs is always extremely low and overexpression of the sensor in a few rare cells can lead to erroneous observations. The overexpression also results in gross mislocalization of such membrane-bound sensors. The accumulation of GCaMP3-ML1 in the ER of these cells would prevent any credible measurements of perilysosomal Ca2+ signals. A meaningful investigation of this process in primary macrophages requires the generation of a mouse line wherein the sensor is expressed at low levels in myeloid cells, and shown to be localized almost exclusively in the lysosomal membrane. The mechanistic framework built around these major conceptual and technical flaws is not especially meaningful and since these are foundational results, I cannot take the main claims of this study seriously.

2. The cytosolic Ca2+ imaging shown in Figure 1C doesn't make any sense. It looks like a snapshot of basal Ca2+ many hours after PA treatment - calcium elevations are highly dynamic. Snapshot measurements are not helpful and analyses of Calcium dynamics requires a recording over a certain timespan. Unfortunately, this technical approach has been used throughout the manuscript. Also, BAPTA-AM abrogates IL-1b secretion because IL-1b transcription is Ca2+ dependent - the result shown in figure 1D does not shed light on anything to do with inflammasome activation and it is misleading to suggest that.

3. Trpm2-/- macrophages are known to be hyporesponsive to inflammatory stimuli - the reduced secretion of IL-1b by these macrophages is not novel. From a mechanistic perspective, this study does not add much to that observation and the proposed role of TRPM2 as a lysosomal Ca2+ release channel is not substantiated by good quality Ca2+ imaging data (see point 3 above). Furthermore, the study assumes that TRPM2 is a lysosomal ion channel. One paper reported TRPM2 in the lysosomes but this is a controversial claim, with no replication or further development in the last 14 years. This core assumption can be highly misleading to readers unfamiliar with TRPM2 biology and it is necessary to present credible evidence that TRPM2 is functional in the lysosomal membrane of macrophages. Ideally, this line of investigation should rest on robust demonstration of TRPM2 currents in patch-clamp electrophysiology of lysosomes. If this is not technically feasible for the authors, they should at least investigate TRPM2 localization on lysosomal membranes of macrophages.

4. Apigenin and Quercetin are highly non-specific and their effects cannot be attributed to CD38 inhibition alone. Such conclusions need strong loss of function studies using genetic knockouts of CD38 - or at least siRNA knockdown. Importantly, if indeed TRPM2 is being activated downstream of CD38, this should be easily evident in whole cell patch clamp electrophysiology. TRPM2 currents can be resolved using this technique and authors have Trpm2-/- cells for proper controls. Authors attempted these experiments but the results are of very poor quality. If the TRPM2 current is being activated through ADPR generated by CD38 (in response to PA stimulation), then it is very odd that authors need to include 200 uM cADPR to see TRPM2 current (Fig. 3A). Oddly, even these data cast great doubt on the technical quality of the electrophysiology experiments. Even with such high concentrations of cADPr, the TRPM2 current is tiny and Trpm2-/- controls are missing. The current-voltage relationship is not shown, and I feel that the results are merely reporting leak currents seen in measurements with substandard seals. Also 20 uM ACA is not a selective inhibitor of TRPM2 - relying on ACA as the conclusive diagnostic is problematic.

5. TRPM2 is expressed in many different cell lines. The broad metabolic differences observed by the authors in the Trpm2-/- mice cannot be attributed to macrophage-mediated inflammation. Such a conclusion requires the study of mice wherein Trpm2 is deleted selectively in macrophages or at least in the cells of the myeloid lineage.

6. The ER-Lysosome Ca2+ refilling experiments rely on transient transfection of organelle-targeted sensors into BMDMs. See point #1 to understand why I find this approach to be highly problematic. Furthermore, the data procured are also not convincing and lack critical controls (localization of sensors has not been demonstrated and their response to acute mobilization of Ca2+ has not been shown to inspire any confidence in these results).

7. Authors claim that SCOE is coupled to K+ efflux. But there is no credible evidence that SOCE is activated in PA stimulated macrophages. The data shown in Fig 4 supp 1 do not investigate SOCE in a reliable manner - the conclusion is again based on snapshot measurements and crude non-selective inhibitors. The correct way to evaluate SOCE is to record cytosolic Ca2+ elevations over a period of time in absence and presence of extracellular Ca2+. However, even such recordings can be unreliable since the phenomenon is being investigated hours after PA stimulation. So, the only definitive way to demonstrate that Orai channels are indeed active during this process is through patch clamp electrophysiology of PA stimulated cells.

Reviewer #2 (Public Review):

In this manuscript by Kang et. al., the authors investigated the mechanisms of K+-efflux-coupled SOCE in NLRP3 inflammasome activation by LP(LPS+PA, and identified an essential role of TRPM2-mediated lysosomal Ca2+ release and subsequent IP3Rs-mediated ER Ca2+ release and store depletion in the process. K+ efflux is shown to be mediated by a Ca2+-activated K+ channel (KCa3.1). LP-induced cytosolic Ca2+ elevation also induced a delayed activation of ASK1 and JNK, leading to ASC oligomerization and NLRP3 inflammasome activation. Overall, this is an interesting and comprehensive study that has identified several novel molecular players in metabolic inflammation. The manuscript can benefit if the following concerns could be addressed:

1. The expression of TRPM2 in the lysosomes of macrophages needs to be more definitively established. For instance, the cADPR-induced TRPM2 currents should be abolished in the TRPM2 KO macrophages. Can you show the lysosomal expression of TRPM2, either with an antibody if available or with a fluorescently-tagged TRPM2 overexpression construct?

2. Can you use your TRPM2 inhibitor ACA to pharmacologically phenocopy some results, e.g., about [Ca2+]ER, [Ca2+]LY, and [Ca2+]i from the TRPM2 knockout?

3. In Fig. S4A, bathing the cells in zero Ca2+ for three hours might not be ideal. Can you use a SOCE inhibitor, e.g, YM-58483, to make the point?

4. In Fig. 1A, you need a positive control, e.g., ionomycin, to show that the GPN response was selectively reduced upon LP treatment.

  1. Howard Hughes Medical Institute
  2. Wellcome Trust
  3. Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
  4. Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation