Background: Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is a widely studied cytokine (ligand) that induces proinflammatory signaling and regulates myriad cellular processes. In major illnesses, such as rheumatoid arthritis and certain cancers, the expression of TNF is elevated. Despite much progress in the field, the targeted regulation of TNF response for therapeutic benefits remains suboptimal. Here, to effectively regulate the proinflammatory response induced by TNF, a systems biology approach was adopted. Results: We developed a computational model to investigate the temporal activations of MAP kinase (p38), nuclear factor (NF)-κ;B, and the kinetics of 3 groups of genes, defined by early, intermediate and late phases, in murine embryonic fibroblast (MEF) and 3T3 cells. To identify a crucial target that suppresses, and not abolishes, proinflammatory genes, the model was tested in several in silico knock out (KO) conditions. Among the candidate molecules tested, in silico RIP1 KO effectively regulated all groups of proinflammatory genes (early, middle and late). To validate this result, we experimentally inhibited TNF signaling in MEF and 3T3 cells with RIP1 inhibitor, Necrostatin-1 (Nec-1), and investigated 10 genes (Il6, Nfkbia, Jun, Tnfaip3, Ccl7, Vcam1, Cxcl10, Mmp3, Mmp13, Enpp2) belonging to the 3 major groups of upregulated genes. As predicted by the model, all measured genes were significantly impaired. Conclusions: Our results demonstrate that Nec-1 modulates TNF-induced proinflammatory response, and may potentially be used as a therapeutic target for inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas