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Mol Cell Biol. Nov 1993; 13(11): 7191–7198.
PMCID: PMC364780

Distinct mechanisms for regulation of the interleukin-8 gene involve synergism and cooperativity between C/EBP and NF-kappa B.

Abstract

The interleukin-8 promoter is transcriptionally activated by interleukin-1, tumor necrosis factor alpha, phorbol myristate acetate, or hepatitis B virus X protein through a sequence located between positions -91 and -71. This region contains an NF-kappa B-like and a C/EBP-like binding site. We show here that several members of the NF-kappa B family, including p65, p50, p52, and c-Rel, can bind to this region, confirming an authentic NF-kappa B binding site in the interleukin-8 promoter. Further, C/EBP binds only weakly to the interleukin-8 promoter site. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays with proteins overexpressed in COS cells and with nuclear extracts from tumor necrosis factor alpha-stimulated HeLa cells demonstrated a strong cooperative binding of C/EBP to its site when NF-kappa B is bound to its adjacent binding site. Transfection studies lead to a model that suggests a highly complex regulation of interleukin-8 gene expression at multiple levels: independent binding of C/EBP and NF-kappa B to their respective sites, cooperative binding of C/EBP and NF-kappa B to DNA, and positive synergistic activation through the C/EBP binding site and inhibition through the NF-kappa B binding site by combinations of C/EBP and NF-kappa B. Thus, the ultimate regulation of interleukin-8 gene expression depends on the ratio of cellular C/EBP and NF-kappa B.

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