BACKGROUND: Activated protein C (APC) has been introduced as a therapeutic agent for treatment of patients with severe sepsis due to its unique anticoagulant and anti-inflammatory properties in the vascular system. In this study we investigated novel targets for the anti-inflammatory action of APC in human macrophages.
METHODS: Using a genome-wide approach, effects of APC on the expression profile in inflammatory activated human macrophages were analyzed.
RESULTS: We identified, for the first time, genes that are specifically regulated by APC under inflammatory conditions, such as chromatin binding protein 4B (CHMP4B) and p300/CBP-associated factor (PCAF), thus indicating a role of APC in the epigenetic control of gene transcription. A functional assay showed the influence of APC in the acetyltransferase/deacetylase activity of nuclear extracts from inflamed macrophages.
CONCLUSION: Our data sheds new light on APC targets in inflammation and opens new lines of investigation that may be explored in order to further elucidate its unique molecule properties.