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J Immunol. 1996 Dec 1;157(11):5097-103.

Cross-linking of intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (CD54) induces AP-1 activation and IL-1beta transcription.

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The First Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Kitakyushu, Japan.


Leukocytes adhere to target cells through their integrins and play a crucial role in self-defense, inflammation, and differentiation. Intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1; CD54) is a representative ligand for integrins and is expressed on many cell types, some of which are targets for leukocyte adhesion. Recent studies suggest that adhesion molecules function not only as a cellular glue, but also as a signal transducer. However, it remains to be clearly defined whether engagement of ICAM-1 is able to induce activation signals in target cells. In rheumatoid synovium, synovial cells are known to express abundant ICAM-1 and produce multiple inflammatory cytokines, such as IL-1beta. In this study, we provide the first evidence that ICAM-1 engagement induces activation of the transcription factor AP-1 and transcription of the IL-1beta gene using a specific Ab to cross-link ICAM-1 on a rheumatoid synovial cell line (E11 cells). This evidence includes ICAM-1 cross-linking-dependent induction of 1) in situ IL-1beta transcription and protein synthesis, 2) transiently transfected chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) reporter plasmids containing both the IL-1beta LPS-responsive enhancer (between -3134 and -2729) as well as multiple copies of an AP-1 site from this enhancer (between -3117 and -3111), and 3) the binding of a Jun/Fos family complex to this AP-1 site. Thus, ICAM-1 not only functions as a glue for integrin binding, but also as a transducer for AP-1 activation signals important for IL-1beta gene transcription.

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