A search for genes modulated by interleukin-6 alone or with interleukin-1beta in HepG2 cells using differential display analysis

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2006 Mar;1762(3):319-28. doi: 10.1016/j.bbadis.2005.11.001. Epub 2005 Nov 21.


Interleukin-1 and interleukin-6 are principal cytokines involved in regulation of expression of acute-phase proteins. In the joint action of both cytokines IL-1 can suppress or enhance the IL-6-dependent induction of gene expression. Here, we report changes in the transcriptome profile of HepG2 cells exposed to IL-6 alone, or IL-1 and IL-6. Cytokine-responsive genes were identified by differential display analysis. Validation of observed changes in the transcript level was carried out using the slot blot method. Out of 88 cDNA species modulated by IL-6, only 38 represent different known genes whereas 18 clones match genomic clones in NCBI data with hypothetical cDNA sequences (the remaining 32 clones showed no homology with the database or represented several clones of the same gene). In the experiments with HepG2 cells prestimulated for 3 h with IL-1 and then stimulated with IL-6, 43 cDNA fragments were amplified. Twenty-three of them represent known genes while 10 clones have inserts matching hypothetical cDNA sequences in NCBI data. The identified transcripts modulated by IL-6 or both cytokines in HepG2 cells code for intracellular proteins of various function. The largest groups represent genes engaged in metabolism, protein synthesis and signaling pathways. Among all genes identified as differentially regulated under stimulation by IL-6, or IL-1/IL-6, six were detected in both types of stimulation. None of the typical genes coding for plasma acute phase proteins was identified in our experiments. This indicates that differential display cannot be used to characterize the profile of a given transcriptome. On the other hand, it is a useful technique for detection of new genes responding to IL-6 alone or IL-6 in combination with IL-1.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute-Phase Proteins / genetics
  • Acute-Phase Proteins / metabolism
  • Acute-Phase Reaction
  • Animals
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Gene Expression Profiling*
  • Gene Expression Regulation* / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-1 / metabolism*
  • Interleukin-1 / pharmacology
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism*
  • Interleukin-6 / pharmacology
  • Liver Neoplasms
  • Molecular Sequence Data


  • Acute-Phase Proteins
  • Interleukin-1
  • Interleukin-6