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Dysregulation of Intestinal Epithelial Cell RIPK Pathways Promotes Chronic Inflammation in the IBD Gut.


Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) are common intestinal bowel diseases (IBD) characterized by intestinal epithelial injury including extensive epithelial cell death, mucosal erosion, ulceration, and crypt abscess formation. Several factors including activated signaling pathways, microbial dysbiosis, and immune deregulation contribute to disease progression. Although most research efforts to date have focused on immune cells, it is becoming increasingly clear that intestinal epithelial cells (IEC) are important players in IBD pathogenesis. Aberrant or exacerbated responses to how IEC sense IBD-associated microbes, respond to TNF stimulation, and regenerate and heal the injured mucosa are critical to the integrity of the intestinal barrier. The role of several genes and pathways in which single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) showed strong association with IBD has recently been studied in the context of IEC. In patients with IBD, it has been shown that the expression of specific dysregulated genes in IECs plays an important role in TNF-induced cell death and microbial sensing. Among them, the NF-κB pathway and its target gene TNFAIP3 promote TNF-induced and receptor interacting protein kinase (RIPK1)-dependent intestinal epithelial cell death. On the other hand, RIPK2 functions as a key signaling protein in host defense responses induced by activation of the cytosolic microbial sensors nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-containing proteins 1 and 2 (NOD1 and NOD2). The RIPK2-mediated signaling pathway leads to the activation of NF-κB and MAP kinases that induce autophagy following infection. This article will review these dysregulated RIPK pathways in IEC and their role in promoting chronic inflammation. It will also highlight future research directions and therapeutic approaches involving RIPKs in IBD.

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