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Transcriptional induction of pim-1 protein kinase gene expression by interferon gamma and posttranscriptional effects on costimulation with steel factor

MT Yip-Schneider, M Horie and HE Broxmeyer

Abstract

Steel factor (SLF) synergizes with interferon gamma (IFN gamma) to stimulate proliferation of the human factor-dependent cell line MO7e. We examined the effects of IFN gamma and SLF treatment, alone or in combination, on the expression of a 33-kD cytoplasmic protein serine/threonine kinase designated pim-1 whose expression has been closely associated with proliferation induced by related myeloid cytokines. IFN gamma alone, but not SLF, stimulated expression of pim-1 RNA and protein in MO7e cells; compared with IFN gamma alone, costimulation with IFN gamma and SLF resulted in a twofold to threefold increase in pim-1 message and protein expression, correlating with synergistic effects on cell proliferation. Both IFN gamma and IFN gamma/SLF induced pim-1 mRNA in the absence of de novo protein synthesis. Nuclear run-on assays showed that, although IFN gamma alone increased the rate of pim-1 gene transcription, costimulation with IFN gamma and SLF did not further potentiate this effect; however, the stability of pim-1 message was significantly enhanced in the presence of both cytokines. An IFN gamma-responsive element within the 5′ flanking region of the pim-1 gene that could confer IFN gamma responsiveness on a heterologous promoter was identified. This sequence, designated PMGAS, formed a specific complex with Stat (signal transducers and activators of transcription) 1 alpha (the p91 subunit of the transcription factor ISGF3 [interferon-stimulated gene factor 3]) in IFN gamma-treated cell extracts, suggesting that the transcriptional effects of IFN gamma on pim-1 expression may be mediated by Stat 1 alpha.