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J Biol Chem. 1998 Nov 27;273(48):32312-21.

Repression of cyclooxygenase-2 and prostaglandin E2 release by dexamethasone occurs by transcriptional and post-transcriptional mechanisms involving loss of polyadenylated mRNA.

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  • 1Department of Thoracic Medicine, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College School of Medicine, Dovehouse Street, London, SW3 6LY, United Kingdom. robert.newton@ic.ac.uk

Abstract

The two cyclooxygenase (COX) isoforms convert arachidonic acid to precursor prostaglandins (PGs). Up-regulation of COX-2 is responsible for increased PG production in inflammation and is antagonized by corticosteriods such as dexamethasone. In human pulmonary A549 cells, interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta) increases prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) synthesis via dexamethasone-sensitive induction of COX-2. Nuclear run-off assays showed that COX-2 transcription rate was repressed 25-40% by dexamethasone, while PGE2 release, COX activity, and COX-2 protein were totally repressed. At the mRNA level, complete repression of COX-2 was only observed at later (6 h) time points. Preinduced COX-2 mRNA was also potently repressed by dexamethasone, yet suppression of transcription by actinomycin D showed little effect. This dexamethasone-dependent repression involved a reduced COX-2 mRNA half-life, was blocked by actinomycin D or cycloheximide, and was antagonized by the steroid antagonist RU38486. Repression of IL-1beta-induced PGE2 release, COX activity, and COX-2 protein by actinomycin D was only effective within the first hour following IL-1beta treatment, while dexamethasone was effective when added up to 10 h later, suggesting a functional role for post-transcriptional mechanisms of repression. Following dexamethasone treatment, shortening of the average length of COX-2 mRNA poly(A) tails was observed. Finally, ligation of the COX-2 3'-UTR to a heterologous reporter failed to confer dexamethasone sensitivity. In conclusion, these data indicate a major role for post-transcriptional mechanisms in the dexamethasone-dependent repression of COX-2 that require de novo glucocorticoid receptor-dependent transcription and translation. This mechanism involves shortening of the COX-2 poly(A) tail and requires determinants other than just the 3'-UTR for specificity.

PMID:
9822711
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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