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Lipophosphoglycan from Leishmania suppresses agonist-induced interleukin 1β gene expression in human monocytes via a unique promoter sequence

By Dimitrios E. Hatzigeorgiou, Jiayuan Geng, Baixin Zhu, Yihong Zhang, Ke Liu, William N. Rom, Matthew J. Fenton, Salvatore J. Turco and John L. Ho


Leishmania are parasites that survive within macrophages by mechanism(s) not entirely known. Depression of cellular immunity and diminished production of interleukin 1β (IL-1β) and tumor necrosis factor α are potential ways by which the parasite survives within macrophages. We examined the mechanism(s) by which lipophosphoglycan (LPG), a major glycolipid of Leishmania, perturbs cytokine gene expression. LPG treatment of THP-1 monocytes suppressed endotoxin induction of IL-1β steady-state mRNA by greater than 90%, while having no effect on the expression of a control gene. The addition of LPG 2 h before or 2 h after endotoxin challenge significantly suppressed steady-state IL-1β mRNA by 90% and 70%, respectively. LPG also inhibited tumor necrosis factor α and Staphylococcus induction of IL-1β gene expression. The inhibitory effect of LPG is agonist-specific because LPG did not suppress the induction of IL-1β mRNA by phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate. A unique DNA sequence located within the −310 to −57 nucleotide region of the IL-1β promoter was found to mediate LPG’s inhibitory activity. The requirement for the −310 to −57 promoter gene sequence for LPG’s effect is demonstrated by the abrogation of LPG’s inhibitory activity by truncation or deletion of the −310 to −57 promoter gene sequence. Furthermore, the minimal IL-1β promoter (positions −310 to +15) mediated LPG’s inhibitory activity with dose and kinetic profiles that were similar to LPG’s suppression of steady-state IL-1β mRNA. These findings delineated a promoter gene sequence that responds to LPG to act as a “gene silencer,” a function, to our knowledge, not previously described. LPG’s inhibitory activity for several mediators of inflammation and the persistence of significant inhibitory activity 2 h after endotoxin challenge suggest that LPG has therapeutic potential and may be exploited for therapy of sepsis, acute respiratory distress syndrome, and autoimmune diseases

Topics: Biological Sciences
Publisher: The National Academy of Sciences of the USA
Year: 1996
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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