Macrophage nitric oxide synthase gene: Two upstream regions mediate induction by interferon γ and lipopolysaccharide

C. J. Lowenstein, E. W. Alley, P. Raval, A. M. Snowman, S. H. Snyder, S. W. Russell, W. J. Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

982 Scopus citations


The promoter region of the mouse gene for macrophage-inducible nitric oxide synthase (mac-NOS; EC has been characterized. A putative TATA box is 30 base pairs upstream of the transcription start site. Computer analysis reveals numerous potential binding sites for transcription factors, many of them associated with stimuli that induce mac-NOS expression. To localize functionally important portions of the regulatory region, we constructed deletion mutants of the mac-NOS 5' flanking region and placed them upstream of a luciferase reporter gene. The macrophage cell line RAW 264.7, when transfected with a minimal promoter construct, expresses little luciferase activity when stimulated by lipopolysaccharide (LPS), interferon γ (IFN-γ), or both. Maximal expression depends on two discrete regulatory regions upstream of the putative TATA box. Region I (position -48 to -209) increases luciferase activity ≃75-fold over the minimal promoter construct. Region I contains LPS-related responsive elements, including a binding site for nuclear factor interleukin 6 (NF-IL6) and the κB binding site for NF- κB, suggesting that this region regulates LPS-induced expression of the mac- NOS gene. Region II (position -913 to -1029) alone does not increase luciferase expression, but together with region I it causes an additional 10- fold increase in expression. Together the two regions increase expression 750-fold over activity obtained from a minimal promoter construct. Region II contains motifs for binding IFN-related transcription factors and thus probably is responsible for IFN-mediated regulation of LPS-induced mac-NOS. Delineation of these two cooperative regions explains at the level of transcription how IFN-γ and LPS act in concert to induce maximally the mac- NOS gene and, furthermore, how IFN-γ augments the inflammatory response to LPS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9730-9734
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number20
StatePublished - 1993


  • NF-κB
  • enhancer elements
  • interleukin
  • transcription factors
  • tumor necrosis factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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