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J Immunol. 1994 Jul 15;153(2):712-23.

NF-kappa B regulates IL-1 beta transcription through a consensus NF-kappa B binding site and a nonconsensus CRE-like site.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Genetic, Glaxo Research Institute, Inc., Research Triangle Park, NC 27709.


In these studies, we show that NF-kappa B induces transcription from the human pro-IL-1 beta (IL-1 beta) gene. A recombinant plasmid pIL-1(-4000)-CAT, containing 4 kb of the IL-1 beta gene upstream regulatory sequence was transactivated by the p65 subunit of NF-kappa B or by treatment of the cells with a combination of NF-kappa B inducers including LPS, PMA, and dibutyryl cyclic AMP (L+P+C) in U937 cells. Coexpression of p65 with L+P+C treatment led to a synergistic response, whereas coexpression of the I kappa B alpha/MAD-3 protein, in place of p65, blocked L+P+C induction. A series of 5' deletion mutants of the IL-1 beta promoter were used to define two p65 response regions: region I located between -2800 to -2720 bp and region II located between -512 and -133 bp. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays confirmed that NF-kappa B-like proteins could bind to two consensus binding sites in region II. A site-specific mutation in only one of these NF-kappa B sites (-296/-286 bp) caused a specific loss of induction by p65 or L+P+C. A cyclic AMP response element (CRE) site (-2761/-2753 bp) in region I has been shown previously to be critical for L+P+C induction. Mutation of the CRE in an enhancerless test plasmid containing two copies of region I blocked transactivation by p65. Likewise, coexpression of I kappa B alpha inhibited CRE-dependent L+P+C induction of the wild-type counterpart. These data show that NF-kappa B regulates a nonconsensus CRE site in addition to the consensus binding site at -296/-286 bp and suggest that NF-kappa B may play multiple roles in the induction of IL-1 beta transcription.

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