Determination of interleukin-4-responsive region in the human cytochrome P450 2E1 gene promoter

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Cytochrome P450 2E1 (CYP2E1) gene expression is known to be induced by interleukin-4 (IL4) and repressed by inflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin-1β3 (IL1β3) in human hepatocytes. The mechanisms involved in these transcriptional regulations remain elusive. In order to study these mechanisms, various constructs of the human CYP2E1 promoter were prepared and transfected into the human HepG2 hepatoma cell line. Our findings revealed that an IL4-responsive region of 128 bp (−671/−544) was required to mediate induction by IL4. IL1β caused moderate but significant decrease of the promoter activity, which was abolished when the two cytokines were combined. The IL1β inhibitory effect is mediated through a regulatory sequence independent of that of IL4. Furthermore, by using specific signaling pathway inhibitors, we demonstrated that IL4 activation required protein kinase C (PKC) activation. In addition, our results suggest that induction by IL4 was not dependent on a single binding site but rather on a complex region which includes putative binding sites for signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT)6, activator protein (AP)-1, nuclear factor kappa-B (NFκB), nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) and CCAAT enhancer binding protein (C/EBP). Electrophoretic mobility shift assays suggest that AP1 and NFAT transcription factors are able to bind to three sites in the IL4-responsive region.

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