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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 518183, 12 pages
Research Article

IRAK1/4-Targeted Anti-Inflammatory Action of Caffeic Acid

1Department of Genetic Engineering, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon 440-746, Republic of Korea
2Anti-aging Research Institute, BIO-FD&C Co., Ltd, Incheon 406-840, Republic of Korea

Received 4 September 2013; Accepted 29 October 2013

Academic Editor: Satoru Yui

Copyright © 2013 Woo Seok Yang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Caffeic acid (CA) is a phenolic compound that is frequently present in fruits, grains, and dietary supplements. Although CA has been reported to display various biological activities such as anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-viral, and anti-oxidative effects, the action mechanism of CA is not yet fully elucidated. In this study, the anti-inflammatory action mechanism of CA was examined in lipopolysaccharide (LPS) treated macrophages (RAW264.7 cells) and HCl/EtOH-induced gastritis. CA was found to diminish nitric oxide (NO) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) production in LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 cells. Additionally, mRNA levels of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, cyclooxygenase (COX)-2, and inducible NO synthase (iNOS) were downregulated by CA. CA also strongly suppressed the nuclear translocation of AP-1 family proteins and the related upstream signaling cascade composed of interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase 1 (IRAK1), IRAK4, TGF-β-activated kinase 1 (TAK1), mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 4/7 (MKK4/7), and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK). In a direct kinase assay, CA was revealed to directly inhibit IRAK1 and IRAK4. CA also ameliorated HCl/EtOH-induced gastric symptoms via the suppression of JNK, IRAK1, and IRAK4. Therefore, our data strongly suggest that CA acts as an anti-inflammatory drug by directly suppressing IRAK1 and IRAK4.