Send to

Choose Destination
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1991 Sep 1;88(17):7605-9.

Repression of the interleukin 6 gene promoter by p53 and the retinoblastoma susceptibility gene product.

Author information

Rockefeller University, New York, NY 10021.


The aberrant overexpression of interleukin 6 (IL-6) is implicated as an autocrine mechanism in the enhanced proliferation of the neoplastic cell elements in various B- and T-cell malignancies and in some carcinomas and sarcomas; many of these neoplasms have been shown to be associated with a mutated p53 gene. The possibility that wild-type (wt) p53, a nuclear tumor-suppressor protein, but not its transforming mutants might serve to repress IL-6 gene expression was investigated in HeLa cells. We transiently cotransfected these cells with constitutive cytomegalovirus (CMV) enhancer/promoter expression plasmids overproducing wt or mutant human or murine p53 and with appropriate chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) reporter plasmids containing the promoter elements of human IL-6, c-fos, or beta-actin genes or of porcine major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I gene in pN-38 to evaluate the effect of the various p53 species on these promoters. Murine and human wt p53 derived from pCMVNc9 and pC53-SN3, respectively, strongly repressed the IL-6 (promoter position -225 to +13), c-fos (-711 to +42), beta-actin (-3400 to +912), and MHC (-528 to -38) promoters in serum-induced HeLa cells; additionally, IL-6 promoter/CAT transcription unit constructs induced by IL-1, phorbol ester, or pseudorabies virus were also repressed by wt human and murine p53. The murine transforming mutant p53 (pCMVc5) was less active in repressing the IL-6, c-fos, beta-actin, and MHC promoter constructs. The human p53 mutant derived from pC53-SCX3 was also less active than the wt protein in repressing the IL-6, c-fos, beta-actin, and MHC promoters, except that serum-induced IL-6/CAT expression was equally repressed by both human wt and mutant p53. In similar transient transfection experiments in HeLa cells, overexpression of the wt human retinoblastoma susceptibility gene product, RB, was found to repress the serum-induced IL-6 (-225 to +13), c-fos (-711 to +42), and beta-actin (-3400 to +912) promoters but not the PRV-induced IL-6 (-110 to +13) or the serum-induced MHC (-528 to -38) promoters. These observations identify transcriptional repression as a property of p53 and suggest that p53 and RB may be involved as transcriptional repressors in modulating IL-6 gene expression during cellular differentiation and oncogenesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center