Temporal and pharmacological division of fibroblast cyclooxygenase expression into transcriptional and translational phases

A. Raz, A. Wyche, P. Needleman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We have recently shown that the synthesis of cyclooxygenase [also called prostaglandin (PG) synthase or PG endoperoxide synthase; 8,11,14-icosatrienoate, hydrogen-donor:oxygen oxidoreductase, EC] in human dermal fibroblasts is markedly stimulated by the cytokine interleukin 1 (IL-1). We now show that the temporal sequence of the induced synthesis of PG synthase can be separated into an early transcriptional (i.e., actinomycin D inhibitable) phase and a subsequent translational (cycloheximide but not actinomycin D inhibitable) phase and that IL-1 exerts its effect during the transcriptional phase. Phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate also stimulates synthesis of PG synthase and, together with IL-1, produces a synergistic stimulatory effect. Inhibitors of protein kinase C activation abolished the stimulatory effect of IL-1, suggesting that protein kinase C activation is a critical event in the signal-transduction sequence of the IL-1-induced increase of PG synthase synthesis. The antiinflammatory glucocorticosteroids dexamethasone and triamcinolone, but not progesterone or testosterone, were potent inhibitors of PG synthase synthesis (complete inhibition at 20 nM; IC50, 1 nM) when added during the translational phase of the synthesis sequence. The glucocorticosteroid effect was blocked by RNA and protein synthesis inhibitors. This report suggests that glucocorticosteroids exert their effect via a newly synthesized protein, causing a profound translational control of PG synthase synthesis. This novel mechanism of suppression of arachidonate metabolism is distinct from any influence of steroids on phospholipase A2 activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1657-1661
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
National Heart, Lung, and Blood InstituteR01HL020787


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