STAT3 serine phosphorylation is required for TLR4 metabolic reprogramming and IL-1β expression

Jesse J. Balic, Hassan Albargy, Kevin Luu, Francis J. Kirby, W. Samantha N. Jayasekara, Finbar Mansell, Daniel J. Garama, Dominic De Nardo, Nikola Baschuk, Cynthia Louis, Fiachra Humphries, Katherine Fitzgerald, Eicke Latz, Daniel J. Gough, Ashley Mansell

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80 Citations (Scopus)


Detection of microbial components such as lipopolysaccharide (LPS) by Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) on macrophages induces a robust pro-inflammatory response that is dependent on metabolic reprogramming. These innate metabolic changes have been compared to aerobic glycolysis in tumour cells. However, the mechanisms by which TLR4 activation leads to mitochondrial and glycolytic reprogramming are unknown. Here we show that TLR4 activation induces a signalling cascade recruiting TRAF6 and TBK-1, while TBK-1 phosphorylates STAT3 on S727. Using a genetically engineered mouse model incapable of undergoing STAT3 Ser727 phosphorylation, we show ex vivo and in vivo that STAT3 Ser727 phosphorylation is critical for LPS-induced glycolytic reprogramming, production of the central immune response metabolite succinate and inflammatory cytokine production in a model of LPS-induced inflammation. Our study identifies non-canonical STAT3 activation as the crucial signalling intermediary for TLR4-induced glycolysis, macrophage metabolic reprogramming and inflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3816
Number of pages11
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jul 2020


  • acute inflammation
  • mechanisms of disease
  • toll-like receptors

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