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Cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury is a major public health concern that causes high rates of disability and mortality in adults. Microglial activation plays a crucial role in ischemic stroke-induced alteration of the immune microenvironment. However, the mechanism underlying the triggering of microglial activation by ischemic stroke remains to be elucidated. Previously, we demonstrated that the protein kinase Hippo/MST1 plays an important role in oxidative stress-induced cell death in mammalian primary neurons and that the protein kinase c-Abl phosphorylates MST1 at Y433, which increases MST1 kinase activity. Microglial activation has been implicated as a secondary detrimental cellular response that contributes to neuronal cell death in ischemic stroke. Here, we are the first, to our knowledge, to demonstrate that MST1 mediates stroke-induced microglial activation by directly phosphorylating IκBα at residues S32 and S36. We further demonstrate that Src kinase functions upstream of MST1-IκB signaling during microglial activation. Specific deletion of MST1 in microglia mitigates stroke-induced brain injury. Therefore, we propose that Src-MST1-IκB signaling plays a critical role in stroke-induced microglial activation. Together with our previous work demonstrating that MST1 is important for oxidative stress-induced neuronal cell death, our results indicate that MST1 could represent a potent therapeutic target for ischemic stroke.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.bbi.2015.12.016

Type

Journal article

Journal

Brain Behav Immun

Publication Date

07/2016

Volume

55

Pages

236 - 248

Keywords

Hippo/MST1, Ischemia, IκB, Microglia, Src