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J Immunol. 1999 Jun 15;162(12):7335-42.

Use of a photoactivatable taxol analogue to identify unique cellular targets in murine macrophages: identification of murine CD18 as a major taxol-binding protein and a role for Mac-1 in taxol-induced gene expression.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA.


Taxol, a potent antitumor agent that binds beta-tubulin and promotes microtubule assembly, results in mitotic arrest at the G2/M phase of the cell cycle. More recently, Taxol was shown to be a potent LPS mimetic in murine, but not in human macrophages, stimulating signaling pathways and gene expression indistinguishably from LPS. Although structurally unrelated to LPS, Taxol's LPS-mimetic activities are blocked by inactive structural analogues of LPS, indicating that despite the species-restricted effects of Taxol, LPS and Taxol share a common receptor/signaling complex that might be important in LPS-induced human diseases. To identify components of the putatively shared Taxol/LPS receptor, a novel, photoactivatable Taxol analogue was employed to identify unique Taxol-binding proteins in murine macrophage membranes. Seven major Taxol-binding proteins, ranging from approximately 50 to 200 kDa, were detected. Although photoactivatable Taxol analogue failed to bind to CD14, the prominent Taxol-binding protein was identified as CD18, the approximately 96-kDa common component of the beta2 integrin family. This finding was supported by the concomitant failure of macrophage membranes from Mac-1 knockout mice to express immunoreactive CD18 and the major Taxol-binding protein. In addition, Taxol-induced IL-12 p40 mRNA was markedly reduced in Mac-1 knockout macrophages and anti-Mac-1 Ab blocked secretion of IL-12 p70 in Taxol- and LPS-stimulated macrophages. Since CD18 has been described as a participant in LPS-induced binding and signal transduction, these data support the hypothesis that the interaction of murine CD18 with Taxol is involved in its proinflammatory activity.

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