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Cytokine. 2001 Jun 7;14(5):247-52.

Involvement of proteasomes in gene induction by interferon and double-stranded RNA.

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Greenebaum Cancer Center, The University of Maryland, Baltimore, Maryland 21201, USA.


Cytokine induced gene expression is mediated through the ligand-dependent activation of the janus kinase (jak)/signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) signal transduction pathway. The ubiquitin proteasome pathway functions in the controlled degradation of cellular proteins, and regulates cytokine signal transduction through the degradation of specific signaling components. Interferon (IFN) treatment induces genes that function in ubiquitin conjugation, suggesting a reciprocal regulation of proteasome activity and IFN action; however, a role for the proteasome in IFN-alpha-induced gene expression has not been examined. In this report, we find that proteasome inhibitors markedly reduce the induction of interferon-stimulated-gene 15 (ISG15), ISG43, and STAT1 by IFN-alpha and double-stranded RNA (dsRNA). The reduction in gene expression by proteasome inhibitors was dose-dependent, and was specific for ISGs. Neither STAT1 phosphorylation nor ISGF-3 activation was affected by proteasome inhibition at early times post-IFN treatment. Cycloheximide treatment diminished the effect of proteasome inhibitors on ISG induction, implicating an IFN/dsRNA-induced protein in this activity. These findings demonstrate that a functional proteasome is required for optimal ISG induction, and are consistent with a model in which IFN and dsRNA induce a proteasome-sensitive repressor of ISG expression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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