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Blood. 2003 Aug 15;102(4):1178-85. Epub 2003 Apr 24.

TGFbeta inhibits LPS-induced chemokine mRNA stabilization.

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  • 1Department of Immunology, Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, 9500 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA.


The mechanisms involved in anti-inflammatory action of transforming growth factor beta (TGFbeta) have been examined by evaluating its effect on chemokine gene expression in mouse macrophages. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated expression of the CXC chemokines KC and MIP-2 was selectively reduced by TGFbeta in a time- and protein synthesis-dependent process. While TGFbeta had a modest effect on transcription of the KC and MIP-2 mRNAs as measured by nuclear run-on, it had no effect on LPS-stimulated luciferase expression driven by the KC promoter nor on the activation of nuclear factor kappaB (NFkappaB) DNA-binding activity and transactivation function. Interestingly, KC mRNA levels were markedly reduced by TGFbeta treatment in cells transfected with KC genomic or cDNA constructs driven from either the KC or cytomegalovirus (CMV) promoters, demonstrating the importance of sequences within the mature mRNA and suggesting that suppression may involve a posttranscriptional mechanism. In support of this possibility, LPS stimulation prolonged the half-life of KC mRNA and this stabilization response was blocked in cells treated with TGFbeta. Examination of KC mRNA expressed under control of a tetracycline-responsive promoter demonstrated that TGFbeta prevented stabilization of KC mRNA, in response to LPS but did not alter KC mRNA half-life directly. KC mRNA stabilization by LPS was dependent on activation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) activity, and TGFbeta treatment inhibited p38 MAPK activation. These findings support the hypothesis that TGFbeta-mediated suppression of chemokine gene expression involves antagonism of LPS-stimulated KC mRNA stabilization via inhibition of p38 MAPK.

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