Effects of interleukin-6 on the expression of thyroid hormone-binding protein genes in cultured human hepatoblastoma-derived (Hep G2) cells

Luigi Bartalena, Antonella Farsetti, Irwin L. Flink, Jacob Robbins

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T4-binding globulin (TBG) shares a high degree of homology with two serpin antiproteases, α1-antichymotrypsin (ACT) and α1-antitrypsin (AT), whose synthesis is increased during the acute phase phenomenon, which accompanies trauma, infections, and neoplasms, lnterleukin-6 (IL-6) is believed to be the main effector of the acute phase response. When evaluated in human hepatoblastoma-derived (Hep G2) cells exposed to different doses of the recombinant human cytokine for variable time intervals, IL-6 caused a dose- and time-dependent decrease in the secretion of [35S]methionine-labeled TBG, transthyretin (TTR), and albumin. The secretion of ACT and AT was increased. These changes were not due to alterations in the secretory process, since the kinetics of secretion of newly synthesized proteins were not modified. IL-6 did, however, cause a decrease in the steady state levels of mRNA for TTR, TBG, and albumin and an increase in ACT and AT mRNAs. In addition, nuclear run-off assay demonstrated a decrease in the transcription of TTR, TBG, and albumin genes and an increased transcription of the ACT gene. Quantitation of the results showed that changes in the secretion of proteins, in steady state mRNA levels, and in gene transcription were superimposable for each protein, indicating that IL-6 exerts its effect on thyroid hormone-binding proteins mostly at the transcriptional level and that TTR is the thyroid hormone-binding protein showing the most pronounced negative regulation by IL-6. The opposite effect of IL-6 on TBG and the antiproteases, despite their structural homology, underscores gene divergence among these proteins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)935-942
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular Endocrinology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1992


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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