PloS one

RUNX3 regulates intercellular adhesion molecule 3 (ICAM-3) expression during macrophage differentiation and monocyte extravasation.

PMID 22479382


The adhesion molecule ICAM-3 belongs to the immunoglobulin gene superfamily and functions as a ligand for the β2 integrins LFA-1, Mac-1 and α(d)β(2). The expression of ICAM-3 is restricted to cells of the hematopoietic lineage. We present evidences that the ICAM-3 gene promoter exhibits a leukocyte-specific activity, as its activity is significantly higher in ICAM-3+ hematopoietic cell lines. The activity of the ICAM-3 gene promoter is dependent on the occupancy of RUNX cognate sequences both in vitro and in vivo, and whose integrity is required for RUNX responsiveness and for the cooperative actions of RUNX with transcription factors of the Ets and C/EBP families. Protein analysis revealed that ICAM-3 levels diminish upon monocyte-derived macrophage differentiation, monocyte transendothelial migration and dendritic cell maturation, changes that correlate with an increase in RUNX3. Importantly, disruption of RUNX-binding sites led to enhanced promoter activity, and small interfering RNA-mediated reduction of RUNX3 expression resulted in increased ICAM-3 mRNA levels. Altogether these results indicate that the ICAM-3 gene promoter is negatively regulated by RUNX transcription factors, which contribute to the leukocyte-restricted and the regulated expression of ICAM-3 during monocyte-to-macrophage differentiation and monocyte extravasation.