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Diminished PKC activity and decreased binding of transcription factors are involved in the impaired production of nitric oxide by macrophages from tumor-bearing mice

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In previous studies we have shown that peritoneal macrophages (PEM) from mammary tumor-bearing BALB/c mice (T-PEM) display a diminished ability to lyse tumor cells upon stimulation with LPS, a phenomenon that is associated to a lower production of nitric oxide, and that is reverted upon costimulation with IFN-γ. The reduced lytic activity and NO production displayed by T-PEM upon LPS activation were earlier shown by us to be due to a diminished transcription of the inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) gene. In the present study, we have investigated the participation of possible signaling molecules and transcription factors - PKC, NF-κB, C/EBP and IRF-1 - in the downregulation of NO production in LPS-activated T-PEM. It was found that PKC activity was greatly reduced in T-PEM as compared to normal macrophages, and did not respond to activation. Interestingly, the different PKC isozyme levels were not significantly altered in T-PEM, with the exception of PKC δ. Alterations in the binding activity of the transcription factors NF-κB and C/EBP appeared to be involved in the reduced transcription of iNOS previously observed in T-PEM after LPS activation. These results provide evidence that reductions in iNOS transcription secondary to alterations in cell signaling may be responsible for the diminished capacity of macrophages of LPS-activated tumor-bearers to produce NO and lyse tumor targets.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Miami School of Medicine and the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, Miami, FL 33136, USA

Publication date: March 1, 2005

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  • The International Journal of Molecular Medicine is a monthly, peer-reviewed journal devoted to the publication of high quality studies related to the molecular mechanisms of human disease. The journal welcomes research on all aspects of molecular and clinical research, ranging from biochemistry to immunology, pathology, genetics, human genomics, microbiology, molecular pathogenesis, molecular cardiology, molecular surgery and molecular psychology.

    The International Journal of Molecular Medicine aims to provide an insight for researchers within the community in regard to developing molecular tools and identifying molecular targets for the diagnosis and treatment of a diverse number of human diseases.
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