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Mol Cell Biol. Dec 1997; 17(12): 6970–6981.
PMCID: PMC232554

Tumor necrosis factor alpha and interleukin-1beta regulate the murine manganese superoxide dismutase gene through a complex intronic enhancer involving C/EBP-beta and NF-kappaB.


Manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD), a tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-inducible reactive oxygen-scavenging enzyme, protects cells from TNF-mediated apoptosis. To understand how MnSOD is regulated, transient transfections of promoter-reporter gene constructions, in vitro DNA binding assays, and in vivo genomic footprint (IVGF) analysis were carried out on the murine MnSOD gene. The results of this analysis identified a 238-bp region of intron 2 that was responsive to TNF and interleukin-1beta (IL-1). This TNF response element (TNFRE) had the properties of a traditional enhancer element that functioned in an orientation- and position-independent manner. IVGF of the TNFRE revealed TNF- and IL-1-induced factor occupancy of sites that could bind NF-kappaB and C/EBP. The 5' portion of the TNFRE bound C/EBP-beta in vitro and was both necessary and sufficient for TNF responsiveness with the MnSOD promoter or with a heterologous promoter when in an upstream position. The 3' end of the TNFRE bound both NF-kappaB and C/EBP but was not necessary for TNF responsiveness with the MnSOD promoter. However, this 3' portion of the TNFRE was required for the TNFRE to function as a downstream enhancer with a heterologous promoter. These data functionally separate the MnSOD TNFRE into a region responsible for TNF activation and one that mediates induction when it is downstream of a promoter.

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