Reconstitution of ST2 (IL-1R4) specific for IL-33 activity; no suppression by IL-1Ra though a common chain IL-1R3 (IL-1RAcP) shared with IL-1

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Interleukin-33 (IL-33) receptors are composed of ST2 (also known as IL-1R4), a ligand binding chain, and IL-1 receptor accessory protein (IL-1RAcP, also known as IL-1R3), a signal transducing chain. IL-1R3 is a common receptor for IL-1α, and IL-1β, IL-33, and three IL-36 isoforms. A549 human lung epithelial cells are highly sensitive to IL-1α and IL-1β but not respond to IL-33. The lack of responsiveness to IL-33 is due to ST2 expression. ST2 was stably transfected into A549 cells to reconstitute its activity. RT-PCR and FACS analysis confirmed ST2 expression on the cell surface of A549/ST2 cells. Upon IL-33 stimulation, A549/ST2 cells induced IL-8 and IL-6 production in a dose dependent manner while A549/mock cells remained unresponsive. There was no difference in IL-1α and IL-1β activity in A549/ST2 cells compared to A549/mock cells despite the fact that IL-33 shares IL-1R3 with IL-1α/β. IL-33 activated inflammatory signaling molecules in a time- and dose-dependent manner. Anti-ST2 antibody and soluble recombinant ST2-Fc abolished IL-33-induced IL-6 and IL-8 production in A549/ST2 cells but the IL-1 receptor antagonist failed to block IL-33-induced cytokines. This result demonstrates for the first time the reconstitution of ST2 in A549 human lung epithelial cell line and verified its function in IL-33-mediated cytokine production and signal transduction.

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