Research Paper Volume 12, Issue 18 pp 18522—18544

GPA peptide inhibits NLRP3 inflammasome activation to ameliorate colitis through AMPK pathway

Zhao Deng1, , Jiangjin Ni1, , Xiaoyu Wu1, , Hongkui Wei1,2, , Jian Peng1,2, ,

  • 1 Department of Animal Nutrition and Feed Science, College of Animal Science and Technology, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, Hubei, P. R. China
  • 2 The Cooperative Innovation Center for Sustainable Pig Production, Wuhan 430070, Hubei, China

Received: March 5, 2020       Accepted: June 29, 2020       Published: September 20, 2020
How to Cite

Copyright: © 2020 Deng et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a chronic and idiopathic inflammatory disease that affects the colon, resulting in immune dysregulation and the production of large amounts of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Pyroptosis and NLRP3 inflammasome are associated with various kinds of inflammatory diseases including colitis. The purpose of this study is to investigate the protective effects and regulatory mechanism of Gly-Pro-Ala (GPA) peptide on DSS-induced colitis. In vivo, we find GPA peptide could exert anti-inflammatory effects on DSS-induced mice colitis, and its anti-inflammatory effects are abolished in NLRP3-/- mice. In macrophage, GPA suppresses the assembly of NLRP3 inflammasome and GSDMD cleavage. Furthermore, GPA maintains mitochondrial homeostasis through inhibiting ROS, mtDNA and NLRP3 mitochondrial localization, with other signals related to NLRP3 inflammasome unaffected. Furthermore, the inhibitory effects of GPA on reactive oxygen species (ROS) are found to be achieved by increasing AMPK phosphorylation. Our results suggest that GPA inhibits NLRP3 inflammasome activation through increasing AMPK phosphorylation to suppress ROS, and can be applied in the prevention of colitis through targeting NLRP3.


GPA: Gly-Pro-Ala; UC: Ulcerative colitis; NLRP3: nucleotide-binding domain, leucine-rich repeat-containing-like receptors 3; AMPK: Adenosine Monophosphate Activated Protein Kinase; ROS: Reactive Oxygen Species; LPS: lipopolysaccharide; LDH: lactate dehydrogenase; PI: propidium iodide.