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Mol Cell Biol. 1993 Oct;13(10):6231-40.

Characterization of a functional NF-kappa B site in the human interleukin 1 beta promoter: evidence for a positive autoregulatory loop.

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Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


The -300 region of the interleukin 1 beta (IL-1 beta) promoter contains a functional NF-kappa B binding site composed of the decamer sequence 5'-GGGAAAATCC-3'. Probes representing the -300 region or the NF-kappa B site alone interacted with NF-kappa B proteins present in phorbol myristate acetate-, lipopolysaccharide-, or Sendai virus-induced myeloid cell extracts as well as recombinant NFKB1 (p50) and RelA (p65); furthermore, NF-kappa B protein-DNA complex formation was dissociated in vitro by the addition of recombinant I kappa B alpha. Mutation of the NF-kappa B site in the context of the IL-1 beta promoter reduced the responsiveness of the IL-1 beta promoter to various inducers, including phorbol ester, Sendai virus, poly(rI-rC), and IL-1 beta. A 4.4-kb IL-1 beta promoter fragment linked to a chloramphenicol acetyltransferase reporter gene was also preferentially inducible by coexpression of individual NF-kappa B subunits compared with a mutated IL-1 beta promoter fragment. When multiple copies of the IL-1 beta NF-kappa B site were linked to an enhancerless simian virus 40 promoter, this element was able to mediate phorbol ester- or lipopolysaccharide-inducible gene expression. In cotransfection experiments, RelA (p65) and c-Rel (p85) were identified as the main subunits responsible for the activation of the IL-1 beta NF-kappa B site; also, combinations of NFKB1 (p50) and RelA (p65) or c-Rel and RelA were strong transcriptional activators of reporter gene activity. The presence of a functional NF-kappa B binding site in the IL-1 beta promoter suggests that IL-1 positively autoregulates its own synthesis, since IL-1 is a strong inducer of NF-kappa B binding activity. Thus, the IL-1 beta gene may be considered as an important additional member of the family of cytokine genes regulated in part by the NF-kappa B/rel family of transcription factors.

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