Immune activation by histones: plusses and minuses in inflammation.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Histones are highly cationic proteins that are essential components of the cell nucleus, interacting with DNA to form the nucleosome and regulating transcription. Histones, however, can transit from the cell nucleus during cell death and, once in an extracellular location, can serve as danger signals and activate immune cells. An article in this issue of the European Journal of Immunology [Eur. J. Immunol. 2013. 43: 3336-3342] reports that histones can activate monocyte-derived DCs via the NRLP3 inflammasome to induce the production of IL-1β. As such, histones, which can also stimulate TLRs, may drive events in the immunopathogenesis of a wide range of acute and chronic diseases marked by sterile inflammation. While the mechanism of this stimulation is not known, the positive charge of histones may provide a structural element to promote interaction with cells and activation of downstream signaling systems.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Pisetsky, DS

Published Date

  • December 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 43 / 12

Start / End Page

  • 3163 - 3166

PubMed ID

  • 24165954

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1521-4141

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/eji.201344175


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Germany