Molecular mechanisms of inducible nitric oxide synthase gene expression by IL-1beta and cAMP in rat mesangial cells.J Immunol 1998; 160(10):4961-9JI
Expression of the inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) gene in rat mesangial cells is differentially triggered by IL-1beta and cAMP predominantly at the transcriptional level. The 5'-flanking region of the rat iNOS gene contains several binding sites for transcription factors potentially involved in cytokine and cAMP signaling such as nuclear factor-kappaB/Rel, CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein (C/EBP), and cyclic AMP-responsive element-binding protein/ATF. We tested promoter activities of serial and site-directed deletion mutants of iNOS-chloramphenicol acetyltransferase reporter genes after transient transfection and stimulation of mesangial cells. A region between bp -277 and -111 bearing a CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein-response element was found to be critical for cAMP-mediated gene induction but dispensable for IL-1beta inducibility. Moreover, a minimal promoter ranging from the transcriptional start site up to -111 containing a kappaB site is sufficient to confer IL-1beta-mediated iNOS promoter activation. Consistent with these findings, an electrophoretic mobility shift assay shows the appearance of an IL-1beta-inducible nuclear factor-kappaB p50/p65 heterodimeric complex. Using probes containing C/EBP-binding sites from the iNOS gene revealed further binding of different complexes, all of which were strongly inducible by cAMP and to a lower extent also by IL-1beta. Abs against cyclic AMP-responsive element-binding protein, C/EBPbeta, and C/EBPdelta were able to partially supershift single complexes, suggesting the participation of these transcription factors in the regulation of iNOS gene expression by cAMP and IL-1beta. Finally, we show that both cAMP and IL-1beta strongly induce steady-state levels of C/EBPbeta and C/EBPdelta mRNA levels. These data demonstrate that IL-1beta and cAMP use distinct as well as partially overlapping sets of transcriptional activators to modulate iNOS gene expression in rat mesangial cells.