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Sci Rep. 2016 Oct 3;6:34255. doi: 10.1038/srep34255.

Extracellular IL-33 cytokine, but not endogenous nuclear IL-33, regulates protein expression in endothelial cells.

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Institut de Pharmacologie et de Biologie Structurale, Université de Toulouse, CNRS, UPS, Toulouse, France.


IL-33 is a nuclear cytokine from the IL-1 family that plays important roles in health and disease. Extracellular IL-33 activates a growing number of target cells, including group 2 innate lymphoid cells, mast cells and regulatory T cells, but it remains unclear whether intracellular nuclear IL-33 has additional functions in the nucleus. Here, we used a global proteomic approach based on high-resolution mass spectrometry to compare the extracellular and intracellular roles of IL-33 in primary human endothelial cells, a major source of IL-33 protein in human tissues. We found that exogenous extracellular IL-33 cytokine induced expression of a distinct set of proteins associated with inflammatory responses in endothelial cells. In contrast, knockdown of endogenous nuclear IL-33 expression using two independent RNA silencing strategies had no reproducible effect on the endothelial cell proteome. These results suggest that IL-33 acts as a cytokine but not as a nuclear factor regulating gene expression in endothelial cells.

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