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Int Immunol. 2007 May;19(5):609-19. Epub 2007 Mar 22.

An RNA-binding protein alphaCP-1 is involved in the STAT3-mediated suppression of NF-kappaB transcriptional activity.

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Division of Molecular and Cellular Immunology, Medical Institute of Bioregulation, Kyushu University, 3-1-1 Maidashi, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka 812-8582, Japan.


Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) has been shown to mediate the anti-inflammatory effect of IL-10. Activated STAT3 suppresses LPS-induced IL-6, tumor necrosis factor-alpha and IL-12 gene expression in macrophages and dendritic cells. However, the mechanism of Toll-like receptor (TLR) signal suppression by STAT3 has not been clarified. In this study, we investigated the effect of constitutively activated STAT3 (STAT3C) on LPS-induced nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) activation. The forced expression of STAT3C in HEK293/TLR4 cells, but neither wild-type STAT3 nor dominant-negative form of STAT3, suppressed LPS-TLR4-mediated NF-kappaB reporter activation. The over-expression of STAT3C did not affect the signal transduction of TLR4, such as the phosphorylation of inhibitory nuclear factor-kappaBalpha and mitogen-activated protein kinases and the DNA-binding activity of NF-kappaB. Thus, STAT3C could suppress the transcriptional and/or translational activity of NF-kappaB. To define the molecular mechanism, we searched STAT3C-binding proteins by using a proteomic approach and found that a novel RNA-binding protein, alphaCP-1, interacted with STAT3C. alphaCP-1 is a K-homology domain-containing RNA-binding protein with specificity for C-rich pyrimidine tracts. Such proteins play pivotal roles in a broad-spectrum of transcriptional and translational events. The over-expression of alphaCP-1 augmented the suppressive effect of STAT3C on NF-kappaB activation in HEK293/TLR4 cells. Furthermore, the forced expression of alphaCP-1 enhanced the antagonistic effect of IL-10 on IL-6 production in RAW264.7 cells, while small interfering RNA against alphaCP-1 reduced it. These data suggest that alphaCP-1 is involved in the STAT3-mediated suppression of NF-kappaB activity.

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