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Transcriptional activation of various genes by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is known to be mediated, at least in part, by the NF-kappa B/Rel family of transcription factors. We have identified a novel kappa B element located immediately downstream of the TNF-alpha gene that is conserved together with its flanking sequences across species lines and can act as an LPS-responsive enhancer for reporter gene constructs driven by the minimal TNF promoter. In extracts from activated murine macrophages and macrophage cell lines this element binds several non-canonical NF-kappa B/Rel complexes, in addition to p50 (NFKB1) homodimer and p50-p65 (NKFB1-RelA) heterodimer. Combination of high-resolution electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSA) with monospecific antibodies and u.v.-cross-linking indicates that the prominent slow migrating complex III contain p65 homodimer and c-Rel. The appearance of complex III in EMSA parallels the translocation of p65 and c-Rel into the nucleus and occurs shortly after LPS induction. Transfection experiments with reporter constructs driven by this kappa B element indicate strong inducibility by LPS and p65, moderate inducibility by c-Rel and repression by p50. Functional activity of sandwich TNF-CAT-TNF constructs further suggests that LPS-inducible transcriptional activation of the TNF gene in murine macrophages may be partly mediated by a downstream enhancer.


Journal article



Publication Date





97 - 106


Animals, Base Sequence, Biological Evolution, Chloramphenicol O-Acetyltransferase, Conserved Sequence, DNA, Enhancer Elements, Genetic, Lipopolysaccharides, Macrophage Activation, Macrophages, Mice, Molecular Sequence Data, NF-kappa B, Protein Binding, Proto-Oncogene Proteins, Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-rel, Regulatory Sequences, Nucleic Acid, Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha