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J Biol Chem. 1991 Feb 5;266(4):2647-51.

Induction of phospholipase A2 gene expression in human hepatoma cells by mediators of the acute phase response.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Genetics, Hoffmann-La Roche Inc., Nutley, New Jersey 07110.


Serum levels of phospholipase A2 (PLA2) activity have been shown to be elevated in cases of septic shock and rheumatoid arthritis. The cellular origin of serum PLA2, however, is not known. In this report, we demonstrate that human group II PLA2 expression and secretion are induced in hepatoma cells (HepG2) following treatment with interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor (TNF), and interleukin-1 (IL-1). Of the three cytokines, IL-6 is the most potent. Significant synergy is observed between IL-6 and IL-1 and between IL-6 and TNF, but not between IL-1 and TNF. PLA2 induction does not occur in human YT cells, which are known to have receptors for both IL-1 and IL-6, indicating that the regulatory mechanism involved is cell type-specific. The results of RNA blot analysis indicate that the PLA2 gene is regulated in HepG2 cells at the pretranslational level. Induction of PLA2 synthesis in HepG2 cells in response to these cytokines resembles the induction of the acute phase plasma proteins which are synthesized in cultured hepatocytes and hepatoma cells following exposure to the same cytokines and in liver in response to inflammation and infection. In addition, a putative IL-6-responsive element, which is homologous to a similar element found in several acute phase genes, is present in the 5'-promoter-proximal region of the PLA2 gene. These results suggest that serum PLA2 is synthesized in and secreted from liver cells in response to inflammatory stimuli, mediated primarily by IL-6, and therefore should be classified as an acute phase protein.

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