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J Rheumatol. 2011 Mar;38(3):492-502. doi: 10.3899/jrheum.100907. Epub 2011 Jan 15.

Valproic acid suppresses interleukin-1ß-induced microsomal prostaglandin E2 synthase-1 expression in chondrocytes through upregulation of NAB1.

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Osteoarthritis Research Unit, Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal, Hôpital Notre-Dame, Montréal, Québec, Canada.



Microsomal prostaglandin E(2) synthase-1 (mPGES-1) catalyzes the terminal step in the biosynthesis of PGE(2). Early growth response factor-1 (Egr-1) is a key transcription factor in the regulation of mPGES-1, and its activity is negatively regulated by the corepressor NGF1-A-binding protein-1 (NAB1). We examined the effects of valproic acid (VA), a histone deacetylase inhibitor, on interleukin 1ß (IL-1ß)-induced mPGES-1 expression in human chondrocytes, and evaluated the roles of Egr-1 and NAB1 in these effects.


Chondrocytes were stimulated with IL-1 in the absence or presence of VA, and the level of mPGES-1 protein and mRNA expression were evaluated using Western blotting and real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (PCR), respectively. mPGES-1 promoter activity was analyzed in transient transfection experiments. Egr-1 and NAB1 recruitment to the mPGES-1 promoter was evaluated using chromatin immunoprecipitation assays. Small interfering RNA (siRNA) approaches were used to silence NAB1 expression.


VA dose-dependently suppressed IL-1-induced mPGES-1 protein and mRNA expression as well as its promoter activation. Treatment with VA did not alter IL-1-induced Egr-1 expression, or its recruitment to the mPGES-1 promoter, but prevented its transcriptional activity. The suppressive effect of VA requires de novo protein synthesis. VA induced the expression of NAB1, and its recruitment to the mPGES-1 promoter, suggesting that NAB1 may mediate the suppressive effect of VA. Indeed, NAB1 silencing with siRNA blocked VA-mediated suppression of IL-1-induced mPGES-1 expression.


VA inhibited IL-1-induced mPGES-1 expression in chondrocytes. The suppressive effect of VA was not due to reduced expression or recruitment of Egr-1 to the mPGES-1 promoter and involved upregulation of NAB1.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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