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Cell Microbiol. 2001 Oct;3(10):703-12.

NF-kappaB and the MAP kinases/AP-1 pathways are both involved in interleukin-6 and interleukin-8 expression in fibroblast-like synoviocytes stimulated by protein I/II, a modulin from oral streptococci.

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Laboratoire d'Immunologie et Biochimie Bactérienne, Inserm U392, Université Louis Pasteur de Strasbourg, Faculté de Pharmacie, 74 route du Rhin, 67400 Illkirch, France.


As in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), it was demonstrated recently that bacterial fragments of DNA or rRNA are present in the joint and therefore could play a role in inducing or perpetuating the disease, this work was initiated to define mechanisms that account for the stimulatory activities of the oral streptococcal modulin, protein I/II, on fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLSs) from RA patients. FLSs from RA patients were stimulated with protein I/II, and expression of interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-8 mRNA was evaluated by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Immunoblotting by antibodies specific for activated forms of MAPKs and electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSAs) were performed to study downstream signalling, which allowed the synthesis of IL-6 and IL-8. We reported that protein I/II interactions with FLSs from RA patients trigger the synthesis and release of IL-6 and IL-8. We also demonstrated that protein I/II enhances the phosphorylation of ERK 1/2, p38 and JNKs and that ERK 1/2 and JNK MAPKs seem to play a more important role than p38 in protein I/II-mediated synthesis of IL-6 and IL-8. Our experiments also indicated that stimulation of FLSs with protein I/II induces nuclear translocation of NF-kappaB, AP-1-binding activity and that NF-kappaB plays a major role in IL-6 and IL-8 secretion from activated cells.

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