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J Immunol. 2010 Sep 15;185(6):3685-93. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.0902230. Epub 2010 Aug 9.

Gene-specific repression of proinflammatory cytokines in stimulated human macrophages by nuclear IκBα.

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Department of Biological Sciences, St. John's University, New York, NY 11439, USA.


We have previously shown that increased nuclear accumulation of IkappaBalpha inhibits NF-kappaB activity and induces apoptosis in human leukocytes. In this study, we wanted to explore the possibility that the nucleocytoplasmic distribution of IkappaBalpha can be used as a therapeutic target for the regulation of NF-kappaB-dependent cytokine synthesis. Treatment of LPS-stimulated human U937 macrophages with an inhibitor of chromosome region maintenance 1-dependent nuclear export, leptomycin B, resulted in the increased nuclear accumulation of IkappaBalpha and inhibition of NF-kappaB DNA binding activity, caused by the nuclear IkappaBalpha-p65 NF-kappaB interaction. Surprisingly, however, whereas mRNA expression and cellular release of TNF-alpha, the beta form of pro-IL-1 (IL-1beta), and IL-6 were inhibited by the leptomycin B-induced nuclear IkappaBalpha, IL-8 mRNA expression and cellular release were not significantly affected. Analysis of in vivo recruitment of p65 NF-kappaB to NF-kappaB-regulated promoters by chromatin immunoprecipitation in U937 cells and human PBMCs indicated that although the p65 recruitment to TNF-alpha, IL-1beta, and IL-6 promoters was inhibited by the nuclear IkappaBalpha, p65 recruitment to IL-8 promoter was not repressed. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analyses using IkappaBalpha and S536 phosphospecific p65 NF-kappaB Abs demonstrated that although the newly synthesized IkappaBalpha induced by postinduction repression is recruited to TNF-alpha, IL-1beta, and IL-6 promoters but not to the IL-8 promoter, S536-phosphorylated p65 is recruited to IL-8 promoter, but not to TNF-alpha, IL-1beta, or IL-6 promoters. Together, these data indicate that the inhibition of NF-kappaB-dependent transcription by nuclear IkappaBalpha in LPS-stimulated macrophages is gene specific and depends on the S536 phosphorylation status of the recruited p65 NF-kappaB.

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