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Activation Of The Interleukin 6 Gene By Mycobacterium Tuberculosis Or Lipopolysaccharide Is Mediated By Nuclear Factors NF-IL6 And NF-kappa B.

Y. Zhang, M. Broser, W. Rom
Published 1994 · Biology, Medicine

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The host response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis includes granuloma formation at sites of infection and systemic symptoms. Cytokines have been identified by immunohistochemistry in granulomas in animal models of bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) infection and are released by mononuclear phagocytes upon stimulation by mycobacterial proteins. In this regard, the cytokine interleukin 6 (IL-6) may play a role in the clinical manifestations and pathological events of tuberculosis infection. We have demonstrated that lipoarabinomannan (LAM) from the mycobacterial cell wall, which was virtually devoid of lipopolysaccharide (LPS), stimulated mononuclear phagocytes to release IL-6 in a dose-response manner. LAM and LPS were potent inducers of IL-6 gene expression in peripheral blood monocytes. Both LAM- and LPS-inducible IL-6 promoter activity was localized to a DNA fragment, positions -158 to -49, by deletion analysis and chloramphenicol acetyltransferase assay. Two nuclear factor NF-IL6 (positions -153 to -145 and -83 to -75) and one nuclear factor NF-kappa B (positions -72 to -63) motifs are present within this fragment. Site-directed mutagenesis of one or more of these motifs within the IL-6 promoter demonstrated that each has positive regulatory activity and that they could act in a function- and orientation-independent manner. Deletion of all three elements abolished inducibility of IL-6 promoter activity by both LAM and LPS. We conclude that the NF-IL6 and NF-kappa B sites mediate IL-6 induction in response to both LPS and LAM, acting as bacterial or mycobacterial response elements.



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