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Int Immunopharmacol. 2012 Dec;14(4):650-7. doi: 10.1016/j.intimp.2012.09.017. Epub 2012 Oct 23.

Tanshinone IIA inhibits TNF-α-mediated induction of VCAM-1 but not ICAM-1 through the regulation of GATA-6 and IRF-1.

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Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine and Institute of Health Sciences, Gyeongsang Nat'l University, Jinju, South Korea.


The goal of this study was to investigate the differential effect of tanshinone IIA on the induction of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) by TNF-α and the possible molecular mechanisms by which it regulates ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 expression differentially. Stimulation of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) with TNF-α increased ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 expressions, and the pretreatment with tanshinone IIA concentration dependently inhibited VCAM-1 expression but not ICAM-1 expression. In previous study, PI3K/Akt, PKC and Jak/STAT-3 pathways were involved in the TNF-α-mediated induction of VCAM-1 but not ICAM-1. Thus, we examined the effect of tanshinone IIA on TNF-α-mediated activations of PI3K/Akt, PKC and Jak/STAT-3 pathways. Tanshinone IIA efficiently inhibited the phosphorylations of Akt, PKC and STAT-3 by TNF-α. Moreover, we determined the effect of tanshinone IIA on IRF-1 or GATAs induction and binding activity to VCAM-1 promoter since the upstream promoter region of VCAM-1 but not ICAM-1 contains IRF-1 and GATA binding motifs. Western blot analysis and ChIP assay showed that tanshinone IIA efficiently inhibited TNF-α-increased nuclear level of IRF-1 and GATA-6 and their binding affinity to VCAM-1 promoter region. Taken together, tanshinone IIA selectively inhibits TNF-α-mediated expression of VCAM-1 but not ICAM-1 through modulation of PI3/Akt, PKC and Jak/STAT-3 pathway as well as IRF-1 and GATA-6 binding activity.

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