Myeloid differentiation 2 (MD-2) recognizes endotoxin lipopolysaccharide (LPS), which is required for Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) activity. MD-2 represents a more attractive therapeutic target than TLR4 for intervention in severe inflammatory disorders due to microbial infection. Here, we suggest MD-2 as a molecular target of nonlipid chalcone in the inhibition of LPS-induced cellular inflammation. A chalcone derivative, 2′,4-dihydroxy-6′- isopentyloxychalcone (JSH) competitively displaced LPS from MD-2, and was fitted into the ligand-binding site on the crystal structure of MD-2 under the most energetically favorable simulation. JSH nullified TLR4 activation mechanism and sequentially inhibited nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) activation that involves the phosphorylation and degradation of inhibitory κBs and the nuclear import and transcriptional activity of NF-κB in LPS-activated macrophages. Moreover, JSH suppressed NF-κB-target inflammatory genes such as inducible nitric oxide synthase, cyclooxygenase-2, interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and IL-6. Taken together, this study assigns the chalcone structure as an LPS antagonist binding to MD-2 with therapeutic potential against inflammatory conditions.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by Priority Research Center grant 2009– 0094035 and Medical Research Center grant R13-2008-001-0000-00 from the National Research Foundation of Korea, and a research fund from Chungbuk BIT Research-Oriented University Consortium.