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Biol Chem. 2011 Dec;392(12):1123-34. doi: 10.1515/BC.2011.171.

Glucagon counteracts interleukin-6-dependent gene expression by redundant action of Epac and PKA.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, RWTH Aachen University, PauwelsstraƟe 30, D-52074 Aachen, Germany.


Inflammation is the biological response to injurious stimuli. In the initial phase of the inflammatory process, interleukin-6 (IL-6) is the main inducer of acute phase protein expression in the liver. A prolonged acute phase response is characterised by a disturbed glucose homeostasis and elevated levels of IL-6, insulin, and counterregulatory hormones such as glucagon. Several studies deal with the impact of IL-6 on glucagon-dependent gene expression. In contrast, only very little is known about the influence of G-protein-coupled receptors on IL-6 signalling. Therefore, the aim of this study is to elucidate the regulation of IL-6-induced gene expression by glucagon. We could reveal a novel mechanism of negative regulation of IL-6-induced MAP kinase activation by glucagon in primary murine hepatocytes. IL-6-dependent induction of the ERK-dependent target gene Tfpi2, coding for a Kunitz-type serine protease inhibitor, was strongly down-regulated by glucagon treatment. Studying the underlying mechanism revealed a redundant action of the signalling molecules exchange protein activated by cyclic AMP (Epac) and protein kinase A. The metabolic hormone glucagon interferes in IL-6-induced gene expression. This observation is indicative for a regulatory role of G-protein-coupled receptors in the IL-6-dependent inflammatory response.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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