STAT1-induced ASPP2 transcription identifies a link between neuroinflammation, cell polarity, and tumor suppression.
Turnquist C., Wang Y., Severson DT., Zhong S., Sun B., Ma J., Constaninescu SN., Ansorge O., Stolp HB., Molnár Z., Szele FG., Lu X.
Inflammation and loss of cell polarity play pivotal roles in neurodegeneration and cancer. A central question in both diseases is how the loss of cell polarity is sensed by cell death machinery. Here, we identify apoptosis-stimulating protein of p53 with signature sequences of ankyrin repeat-, SH3 domain-, and proline-rich region-containing protein 2 (ASPP2), a haploinsufficient tumor suppressor, activator of p53, and regulator of cell polarity, as a transcriptional target of signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1). LPS induces ASPP2 expression in murine macrophage and microglial cell lines, a human monocyte cell line, and primary human astrocytes in vitro. LPS and IFNs induce ASPP2 transcription through an NF-κB RELA/p65-independent but STAT1-dependent pathway. In an LPS-induced maternal inflammation mouse model, LPS induces nuclear ASPP2 in vivo at the blood-cerebral spinal fluid barrier (the brain's barrier to inflammation), and ASPP2 mediates LPS-induced apoptosis. Consistent with the role of ASPP2 as a gatekeeper to inflammation, ASPP2-deficient brains possess enhanced neuroinflammation. Elevated ASPP2 expression is also observed in mouse models and human neuroinflammatory disease tissue, where ASPP2 was detected in GFAP-expressing reactive astrocytes that coexpress STAT1. Because the ability of ASPP2 to maintain cellular polarity is vital to CNS development, our findings suggest that the identified STAT1/ASPP2 pathway may connect tumor suppression and cell polarity to neuroinflammation.