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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Transcriptional activation of the cyclooxygenase-2 gene in endotoxin-treated RAW 264.7 macrophages.

Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), the enzyme primarily responsible for induced prostaglandin synthesis, is an immediate early gene induced by endotoxin in macrophages. We investigated the cis-acting elements of the COX-2 5'-flanking sequence, the transcription factors and signaling pathways responsible for transcriptional activation of the COX-2 gene in endotoxin-treated murine RAW 264.7 macrophages. Luciferase reporter constructs with alterations in presumptive cis-acting transcriptional regulatory elements demonstrate that the cyclic AMP-response element and two nuclear factor interleukin-6 (CCAAT/enhancer- binding protein (C/EBP)) sites of the COX-2 promoter are required for optimal endotoxin-dependent induction. In contrast, the E-box and NF-kappaB sites are not required for endotoxin-dependent induction. Inhibition of endotoxin-induced NF-kappaB activation by expression of an inhibitor-kappaB alpha mutant does not block endotoxin-dependent COX-2 reporter activity. Overexpression of c-Jun, C/EBPbeta, and C/EBPdelta enhances induction of the COX-2 reporter, while overexpression of cyclic AMP-response element-binding protein or "dominant negative" C/EBPbeta represses COX-2 induction. In addition, endotoxin rapidly and transiently elicits c-Jun phosphorylation in RAW 264.7 macrophages. Cotransfection of the COX-2 reporter with dominant negative expression vectors shows that endotoxin- induced COX-2 gene expression requires signaling through a Ras-independent pathway involving the adapter protein ECSIT and the signaling kinases MEKK1 and JNK. In contrast, endotoxin-induced COX-2 reporter activity is not blocked by overexpression of dominant-negative forms of Raf-1, ERK1, or ERK2.[1]


  1. Transcriptional activation of the cyclooxygenase-2 gene in endotoxin-treated RAW 264.7 macrophages. Wadleigh, D.J., Reddy, S.T., Kopp, E., Ghosh, S., Herschman, H.R. J. Biol. Chem. (2000) [Pubmed]
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