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J Biol Chem. 1995 Aug 11;270(32):18966-74.

H2O2 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha activate intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) gene transcription through distinct cis-regulatory elements within the ICAM-1 promoter.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center/Rush Medical College, Chicago, Illinois 60612, USA.


We investigated the mechanisms by which H2O2 increases intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1; CD54) expression in endothelial cells. The H2O2-induced increase in ICAM-1 mRNA was inhibited by actinomycin D, by the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine, and by 3-amino-benzamide (which blocks oxidant-induced AP-1 activity), but not by pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate (which blocks oxidant-induced NF-kappa B activity). Nuclear run-on and transient transfections of ICAM-1 promoter constructs indicated that H2O2 stimulated ICAM-1 gene transcription by activation of a distinct region of the ICAM-1 promoter. The H2O2-responsive element was localized to sequences between -981 and -769 (relative to start codon). Located within this region are two 16-base pair repeats, each containing binding sites for the transcription factors AP-1 and Ets. A similar composite AP-1/Ets element isolated from the macrophage scavenger receptor gene conferred H2O2 responsiveness to a minimal promoter. Mutation of the 16-base pair repeats within the ICAM-1 promoter prevented H2O2-induced DNA binding activity, and their deletion abrogated the H2O2-induced transcriptional activity. In contrast, TNF alpha induced ICAM-1 transcription via activation of promoter sequences between -393 and -176, a region with C/EBP and NF-kappa B binding sites. The results indicate that H2O2 activates ICAM-1 transcription through AP-1/Ets elements within the ICAM-1 promoter, which are distinct from NF-kappa B-mediated ICAM-1 expression induced by TNF alpha.

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