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Eur J Biochem. 2001 Mar;268(5):1373-81.

Multiple signaling cascades are differentially involved in gene induction by double stranded RNA in interferon-alpha-primed cells.

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Program in Biochemistry, Cellular and Developmental Biology, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.


Priming with interfon (IFN)alpha enhanced the ability of the synthetic double-stranded RNA polyriboinosinic acid: polyribocytidilic acid (pI:C), but not interleukin-1 beta, to activate both p38 mitogen-activated kinase (MAPK) and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signaling cascades. Activation by pI:C in IFN alpha-primed cells was delayed compared to activation with interleukin-1 beta, and this delay was followed by high, sustained activation of p38 MAPK and a modest elevation of ERK activation. Pharmacologic inhibition of either the ERK or the p38 MAPK pathway, using U0126 and SB203580, respectively, reduced interleukin-6 protein induction by at least 70%, and combined inhibition of both pathways fully blocked interleukin-6 protein expression and reduced interleukin-6 mRNA induction by more than 80%. In contrast, induction of double-stranded RNA-activated protein kinase (PKR) mRNA and protein by IFN alpha and/or pI:C was minimally affected by either inhibitor. Induction of interferon-regulatory factor-1 (IRF-1) by pI:C in IFN alpha primed cells was profoundly inhibited by U0126 but not by SB203580. Thus, IFN alpha priming enhances activation of p38 MAPK and ERK pathways by pI:C but not by interleukin-1 beta, thereby enhancing the expression of some, but not all, genes that are induced by pI:C.

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