Transcriptional Regulation of Cyclooxygenase-2 in Response to Proteasome Inhibitors Involves Reactive Oxygen Species-mediated Signaling Pathway and Recruitment of CCAAT/Enhancer-binding Protein and CREB-binding Protein
Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a multifunctional cytokine that plays an important role in inflammatory reactions. We have addressed the possible regulation of IL-6 expression by the ubiquitin-protease system in human umbilical vein endothelial cells. Cultured endothelial cells were treated with MG-132, a protease inhibitor, and the levels of IL-6 mRNA and protein were measured by reverse transcription-PCR and ELISA. MG-132 increased the expression of IL-6 mRNA and protein;and this effect was abolished by the pretreatment of the cells with U0126, an inhibitor of MAP or ERK kinases (MEK 1/2). MG-132 treatment was also found to enhance the level of phosphorylated MEK 1/2. Treatment of the cells with actinomycin D inhibited IL-6 expression in response to MG-132, suggesting the transcriptional upregulation of IL-6 under proteasomal inhibition. We conclude that a protease inhibitor MG-132 upregulates IL-6 expression in vascular endothelial cells, at least in part, through the activation of MEK 1/2.