The expression of many genes is altered upon the activation of macrophages by bacterial LPS. These genes play a crucial role in the orchestration of various responses to protect the host against infection. A novel 2.3 kilobase (kb) cDNA, designated IRG1, was obtained from a cDNA library prepared with RNA isolated from RAW 264.7 following lipopolysaccharide stimulation. Sequence analysis of the clone revealed no identity to any known genes but showed the presence of many potential phosphorylation sites suggesting that IRG1 protein product may be regulated at this level. Furthermore, IRG1 contains the motif for glycosaminoglycan attachment site, implying that IRG1 may be a proteoglycan. By interspecific backcross analysis, Irg1 was mapped to mouse chromosome 14 linked to Tyrp2 and Rap2a. The IRG1 message appears 1.5 h following LPS exposure and its induction was not dependent on new protein synthesis. In fact, cycloheximide induced the expression of IRG1 wsuggesting that a protein repressor prevents the expression of IRG1 when uninduced. The role of the protein kinase A pathway in regulating the induction of IRG1 by LPS is questionable, because although forskolin inhibited its induction, neither dibutyrl-cAMP nor 8-(4-chlorophenylthio)-cAMP had much effect on its expression. In contrast, activation of protein kinase C potentiated the LPS response. Chelation of extracellular calcium inhibited IRG1 4 h after LPS induction, while increasing intracellular calcium had little effect on the levels of the IRG1 transcript. Inhibiting tyrosine phosphorylation abrogated the induction of IRG1 by LPS. Hence, the induction of IRG1 by LPS is mediated by tyrosine kinase and protein kinase C pathway.
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