The immediate early genes of human cytomegalovirus require only proximal promoter elements to upregulate expression of interleukin-1 beta

Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 1992 Jun;6(6):674-7. doi: 10.1165/ajrcmb/6.6.674.


Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) can infect monocytes and macrophages. The immediate early one (IE1) gene product of HCMV positively regulates its own expression, as well as the expression of the interleukin-1 beta (IL-1) gene. This study describes the IL-1 promoter proximal region required for upregulation of IL-1 gene expression by the HCMV IE1 or IE1 plus IE2 gene products. An IL-1 chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) construct containing the IL-1 genomic upstream sequence from position -1097 to +14 and four additional IL-1CAT plasmids containing progressive deletions of the -1097 to -131 sequence were used to evaluate the effect of the HCMV IE gene products on IL-1 gene expression. IL-1CAT plasmids were transfected into a monocytic cell line, THP-1, with plasmids containing either the IE promoter-regulatory region upstream of the bona fide IE1 (pIE1), IE2 (pIE2), or IE1+2 genes (pIE1+2) or a control plasmid containing the IE promoter-regulatory region alone (pLink760). In the presence of pIE1+2, there was an approximate 15-fold increase in CAT activity compared with the control, pLink760, in cells with CAT plasmids containing the -1097 to +14 IL-1 sequence. Plasmids with progressive deletions of this sequence, including the plasmid containing the shortest upstream segment (-131 to +14) also had an approximate 15-fold increase in CAT activity. The upregulation of IL-1 expression was mediated, primarily, by IE1 and not by IE2. This effect was promoter specific because an IL-1CAT plasmid with a complete deletion of the proximal promoter elements (-234 to +146) did not respond to the HCMV IE gene products.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Chloramphenicol O-Acetyltransferase / genetics
  • Chloramphenicol O-Acetyltransferase / metabolism*
  • Cytomegalovirus / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Viral / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-1 / genetics*
  • Plasmids
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic*
  • Transcription, Genetic*
  • Up-Regulation*


  • Interleukin-1
  • Chloramphenicol O-Acetyltransferase