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J Immunol. 2004 Sep 1;173(5):3557-63.

Cyclic adenosine 5'-monophosphate response element modulator is responsible for the decreased expression of c-fos and activator protein-1 binding in T cells from patients with systemic lupus erythematosus.

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  • 1Department of Cellular Injury, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Silver Spring, MD 20910, USA.


T cells from patients with systemic lupus erythematosus express increased levels of the cAMP response element modulator (CREM) that has been shown to bind to the IL-2 promoter and suppress its activity. In this study, we demonstrate that CREM binds to the proximal promoter of the c-fos proto-oncogene in live systemic lupus erythematosus T cells and represses its expression following stimulation in vitro. Decreased levels of c-fos protein result in decreased AP-1 activity, as determined in shift assays. Blockade of the translation of CREM mRNA with an antisense CREM vector increases the expression of c-fos and the AP-1 activity. The levels of c-fos mRNA vary with disease activity. We conclude that CREM represses the expression of c-fos and limits the activity of the enhancer AP-1. Thus, CREM is involved indirectly in the modulation of transcriptional regulation of multiple genes including IL-2.

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