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

Tumor necrosis factor-alpha inhibits surfactant protein C gene transcription.

Pulmonary surfactant protein C (SP-C) is a 3.7-kDa, hydrophobic peptide secreted by alveolar type II epithelial cells. SP-C enhances surface tension lowering activity of surfactant phospholipids that is critical to the maintenance of alveolar volume at end expiration. The proinflammatory cytokine, tumor necrosis factor alpha ( TNF-alpha), decreased SP-C mRNA within 24 h of intratracheal administration to mice. In vitro, TNF-alpha decreased SP-C mRNA in a time-and dose-dependent manner, reducing the steady state levels of SP-C mRNA by 3-5 fold. In contrast, TNF-alpha induced intercellular adhesion molecule-1 expression in both mouse lung and murine lung epithelial cell lines. Nuclear run-on analysis demonstrated that transcription of both the endogenous SP-C gene and a human SP-C promoter-driven transgene was inhibited by TNF-alpha. TNF-alpha decreased mouse SP-C chloramphenicol acetyltransferase mRNA in stably transfected murine epithelial cells. Deletion analysis of the SP-C promoter region demonstrated that TNF-alpha inhibited gene expression in constructs containing 320 base pairs 5' from the start of transcription of the mouse SP-C gene. Inhibition of surfactant protein C gene transcription by TNF-alpha may contribute to the abnormalities of surfactant homeostasis associated with pulmonary injury and infection.[1]


  1. Tumor necrosis factor-alpha inhibits surfactant protein C gene transcription. Bachurski, C.J., Pryhuber, G.S., Glasser, S.W., Kelly, S.E., Whitsett, J.A. J. Biol. Chem. (1995) [Pubmed]
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