The Effect of PGC-1alpha-SIRT3 Pathway Activation on Pseudomonas aeruginosa Infection

Nicholas M. Maurice, Brahmchetna Bedi, Zhihong Yuan, Kuo Chuan Lin, Joanna B. Goldberg, C. Michael Hart, Kristina L. Bailey, Ruxana T. Sadikot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The innate immune response to P. aeruginosa pulmonary infections relies on a network of pattern recognition receptors, including intracellular inflammasome complexes, which can recognize both pathogen-and host-derived signals and subsequently promote downstream inflammatory signaling. Current evidence suggests that the inflammasome does not contribute to bacterial clearance and, in fact, that dysregulated inflammasome activation is harmful in acute and chronic P. aeruginosa lung infection. Given the role of mitochondrial damage signals in recruiting inflammasome signaling, we investigated whether mitochondrial-targeted therapies could attenuate inflammasome signaling in response to P. aeruginosa and decrease pathogenicity of infection. In particular, we investigated the small molecule, ZLN005, which transcriptionally activates peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator-1α (PGC-1α), a master regulator of mitochondrial biogenesis, antioxidant defense, and cellular respiration. We demonstrate that P. aeruginosa infection promotes the expression of inflammasome components and attenuates several components of mitochondrial repair pathways in vitro in lung epithelial cells and in vivo in an acute pneumonia model. ZLN005 activates PGC-1α and its downstream effector, Sirtuin 3 (SIRT3), a mitochondrial-localized deacetylase important for cellular metabolic processes and for reactive oxygen species homeostasis. ZLN005 also attenuates inflammasome signaling induced by P. aeruginosa in bronchial epithelial cells and this action is dependent on ZLN005 activation of SIRT3. ZLN005 treatment reduces epithelial-barrier dysfunction caused by P. aeruginosa and decreases pathogenicity in an in vivo pneumonia model. Therapies that activate the PGC-1α—SIRT3 axis may provide a complementary approach in the treatment of P. aeruginosa infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number116
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022


  • Inflammasome
  • P. aeruginosa
  • Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator-1α
  • SIRT3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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