Send to

Choose Destination
Free Radic Biol Med. 2003 Nov 1;35(9):1158-67.

Effects of TNFalpha on expression of ICAM-1 in human airway epithelial cells in vitro: oxidant-mediated pathways and transcription factors.

Author information

Department of Molecular Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA.


We demonstrate that two different cell-permeable antioxidants, pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate (PDTC) and dimethylthiourea (DMTU), inhibit TNFalpha-induced ICAM-1 surface and gene expression in primary cultures of differentiated normal human bronchial epithelial (NHBE) cells. In addition, TNFalpha stimulates binding of nuclear proteins to the nuclear factor kappa beta (NFkappaB) and the CAAT/enhancer binding protein (C/EBP) consensus sites in the ICAM-1 promoter in these cells. Because these transcription factors have been suggested to be oxidant-sensitive and important in ICAM-1 expression, the potential involvement of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the response to TNFalpha was investigated. Interestingly, neither PDTC nor DMTU altered binding of NFkappaB complexes. In contrast, either the proteasome inhibitor carbobenzoxy-L-leucy-L-leucy-L-leucinal (MG 132) or the IkappaBalpha inhibitor BAY 11-7082 ablated TNFalpha-induced ICAM-1 gene expression and MG132 inhibited TNFalpha-induced NFkappaB complexes. Surprisingly, either PDTC or DMTU inhibited the binding of TNFalpha-enhanced C/EBP complexes to the consensus site directly adjacent to the NFkappaB site. These results suggest that although TNFalpha enhances binding of C/EBP and NFkappaB complexes in NHBE cells, C/EBP binding seems to involve an oxidant-dependent mechanism, whereas activation of NFkappaB complexes utilizes the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway, a mechanism that seems to be unaltered by the presence of antioxidants. Because interference with either signaling pathway abrogates TNFalpha-induced ICAM-1 expression, activation of both complexes seems to be involved in this response to TNFalpha, but this activation occurs via different intracellular pathways.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Publication types, MeSH terms, Substances, Grant support

Publication types

MeSH terms


Grant support

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center