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J Biol Chem. 1996 Jul 19;271(29):17247-52.

Cooperative role of interferon regulatory factor 1 and p91 (STAT1) response elements in interferon-gamma-inducible expression of human indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase gene.

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  • 1Hipple Cancer Research Center, Dayton, Ohio 45439, USA.


Interferon (IFN)-gamma induces the expression of the indoleamine 2, 3-dioxygenase (INDO) gene in human cells, which plays a role in the inhibitory effect of IFN-gamma on intracellular pathogens and on cell proliferation. Earlier studies established that the IFN-gamma-inducible expression of the INDO gene was dependent on two upstream elements: (i) a 14-base pair sequence homologous to an interferon-stimulated response element (ISRE) sequence found in IFN-alpha-inducible genes and (ii) a 9-base pair palindromic sequence (palindromic element (PE) II) homologous to an interferon-gamma-activated site (GAS) element found in IFN-gamma-inducible genes. A second GAS element (PE I), between ISRE and PE II, was ineffective in supporting a response to IFN-gamma. Studies were carried out to determine the distinction between the two GAS elements and the relative role of the two elements (ISRE and PE II) required for a response to IFN-gamma. The PE I element was able to form a complex with IFN-gamma-activated p91 (STAT1) factor but with lower efficiency than the complex formed with PE II sequence. However, switching the positions of PE I and II sequences in reporter plasmid constructs (containing chloramphenicol acetyltransferase gene) showed that both PE I and PE II were able to support a response to IFN-gamma if located at the position of PE II but not at the position of PE I. Increasing the distance between the ISRE and PE II also affected the level of response, suggesting that the relative position of the two elements is important for optimal stimulus. To explore whether an interaction between the IFN-gamma-regulated factors (IRF-1 and p91) binding to the ISRE and PE II might be important, we tested whether the ISRE sequence could be replaced by another response element, NF-kappaB. The plasmid construct with NF-kappaB element in place of the ISRE was responsive to IFN-gamma, indicating that an interaction between the IRF-1 and p91 factors was not required. The results indicate that the response of INDO gene to IFN-gamma depends on a cooperative role of IFN-gamma-responsive factors binding to the ISRE and GAS elements.

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