Small-molecule screening identifies inhibition of salt-inducible kinases as a therapeutic strategy to enhance immunoregulatory functions of dendritic cells

Thomas B. Sundberg, Hwan Geun Choi, Joo Hye Song, Caitlin N. Russell, Mahmud M. Hussain, Daniel B. Graham, Bernard Khor, John Gagnon, Daniel J. O'Connell, Kavitha Narayan, Vlado Dancǐ́k, Jose R. Perez, Hans Christian Reinecker, Nathanael S. Gray, Stuart L. Schreiber, Ramnik J. Xavier, Alykhan F. Shamji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Genetic alterations that reduce the function of the immunoregulatory cytokine IL-10 contribute to colitis in mouse and man. Myeloid cells such as macrophages (MΦs) and dendritic cells (DCs) play an essential role in determining the relative abundance of IL-10 versus inflammatory cytokines in the gut. As such, using small molecules to boost IL-10 production by DCs-MΦs represents a promising approach to increase levels of this cytokine specifically in gut tissues. Toward this end, we screened a library of well-annotated kinase inhibitors for compounds that enhance production of IL-10 by murine bone-marrow-derived DCs stimulated with the yeast cell wall preparation zymosan. This approach identified a number of kinase inhibitors that robustly up-regulate IL-10 production including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drugs dasatinib, bosutinib, and saracatinib that target ABL, SRC-family, and numerous other kinases. Correlating the kinase selectivity profiles of the active compounds with their effect on IL-10 production suggests that inhibition of salt-inducible kinases (SIKs) mediates the observed IL-10 increase. This was confirmed using the SIK-targeting inhibitor HG-9-91-01 and a series of structural analogs. The stimulatory effect of SIK inhibition on IL-10 is also associated with decreased production of the proinflammatory cytokines IL-1α, IL-6, IL-12, and TNF-α, and these coordinated effects are observed in human DCs-MΦs and anti-inflammatory CD11c+ CX 3CR1hi cells isolated from murine gut tissue. Collectively, these studies demonstrate that SIK inhibition promotes an anti-inflammatory phenotype in activated myeloid cells marked by robust IL-10 production and establish these effects as a previously unidentified activity associated with several FDA-approved multikinase inhibitors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12468-12473
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number34
StatePublished - Aug 26 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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