The Journal of biological chemistry

Interleukin-1-inducible tumor growth arrest is characterized by activation of cell type-specific "early" gene expression programs.

PMID 1372901


Human melanoma cells, A375-C6, were "committed" to growth arrest within a few hours of exposure to interleukin-1 (IL-1). Co-treatment with actinomycin D rescued the cells from the "commitment," suggesting that "early" gene activation events may be crucial for growth arrest. To understand the mechanism of IL-1 action, we are studying early genes whose expression is induced by the cytokine. Five early genes associated with IL-1 action in the melanoma cells were isolated by differential screening of a cDNA library, which was enriched for sequences representing IL-1 responsive genes (IRGs). Nucleotide sequencing identified four of the genes as gro-alpha, gro-beta, c-jun and nur77/NGF1-B/NAK1, respectively, while the fifth was judged as novel by GenBank search and designated IRG-9. None of the early genes was uniquely associated with the antiproliferative action of IL-1: other growth-inhibitory as well as growth-stimulatory signals induced these genes in diverse cell types. However, analysis of the induction patterns of the IRGs and other well known early genes revealed that IL-1 action in the melanoma cells is characterized by activation of a unique primary gene expression program. This program was defined by the magnitude and temporal pattern of induction of the five IRGs, feeble induction of c-fos, and lack of induction of Egr-1 and c-myc. We present evidence that this program is growth arrest-specific in the melanoma cells and that distinct cell type-specific programs are associated with IL-1 growth-regulatory actions in other tumor cells. Based on these data, we propose that early genes may play multifunctional roles in tumor growth control, but specificity for the growth arrest action of IL-1 is determined by the composite early gene induction program.

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A375 Cell Line human