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J Leukoc Biol. 1996 Apr;59(4):575-85.

Transcriptional basis for hyporesponsiveness of the human inducible nitric oxide synthase gene to lipopolysaccharide/interferon-gamma.

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  • 1Wilkinson Laboratory of the Cancer Center, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City 66160-7184, USA.


The work reported here resolves, at the level of gene regulation, the controversy as to whether or not human monocytes/macrophages can produce nitric oxide (NO) when stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS), with or without co-stimulation by interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma). Studies included structural comparison of the promoters for human and mouse inducible NO synthase (iNOS) genes, transfection and assay of human and mouse iNOS promoter regions in response to LPS +/- IFN-gamma, and electrophoretic mobility shift assays of kappa B response elements. Two explanations for hyporesponsiveness of the human iNOS promoter to LPS +/- IFN-gamma were found: (1) multiple inactivating nucleotide substitutions in the human counterpart of the enhancer element that has been shown to regulate LPS/IFN-gamma induced expression of the mouse iNOS gene; and (2) and absence of one or more nuclear factors in human macrophages (e.g., an LPS-inducible nuclear factor-kappa B/Rel complex), that is (are) required for maximal expression of the gene. The importance of resolution of this controversy is that future research in this area should be directed toward the understanding of alternative mechanisms that can result in the successful production of NO.

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