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J Inflamm. 1995-1996;46(3):125-38.

The internalized interleukin-1 activation complex in fibroblasts localizes to the Golgi apparatus.

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Tumorimmunology Program, German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany.


In order to investigate binding and internalization of interleukin-1 (IL-1) by confocal laser scanning microscopy, we established a model system comprising an IL-1 receptor type I (IL-1R1) overexpressing transfectant of the murine fibrosarcoma cell line L929 (L929R1) and an N-terminal FLAG-tagged human recombinant IL-1 alpha (FLAG-IL-1 alpha). The function of the transfected receptors was shown by their IL-1-induced association with a kinase activity. The biological activity of the purified FLAG-IL-1 alpha was comparable to the unmodified molecule. L929RI cells were exposed to saturating concentrations of FLAG-IL-1 alpha. Two-color fluorescence analysis revealed increasing cell surface binding of FLAG-IL-1 alpha to the receptor over 30 min. This was followed by internalization and accumulation of the ligand/receptor complex at the Golgi apparatus. After 3 hr the receptor signal significantly decreased and patches of FLAG-epitopes reappeared on the cell surface, no longer colocalized with IL-1R1. Thus, in this model, the previously assumed nuclear accumulation of IL-1 was not detected but rather localization of the internalized IL-1/IL-1R1-complex to the Golgi apparatus was found. Direct effects of IL-1 on the nucleus or the nuclear membrane therefore are unlikely.

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