The Mouse Interleukin (Il)33 Gene Is Expressed in a Cell Type- And Stimulus-Dependent Manner From Two Alternative Promoters

J Leukoc Biol. 2012 Jan;91(1):119-25. doi: 10.1189/jlb.0811425. Epub 2011 Oct 19.


GenBank entries for mouse Il33 reveal the existence of two transcripts, Il33a and Il33b, with different 5'UTRs but coding for the same protein. We investigated expression of these transcripts in different mouse organs and cell types in basal and inflammatory conditions. Il33a and Il33b mRNAs start with different noncoding first exons, transcribed from different promoter regions, which both contain a consensus TATA-like sequence. Constitutive Il33a mRNA expression was detected in mouse stomach, lung, spleen, and brain, whereas basal Il33b mRNA expression was observed only in the stomach. Expression of both transcripts increased after systemic LPS administration. In vitro, we observed high constitutive expression of Il33 transcripts in MEFs. Constitutive Il33a mRNA expression was observed also in BMDCs, where it was preferentially increased in response to poly(I:C), whereas LPS increased levels of Il33a and Il33b mRNA. In contrast, BMMs and Raw 264.7 cells did not express Il33 mRNA constitutively, and LPS stimulation selectively induced expression of Il33b mRNA in these cells. Our data indicate that the Il33 gene is expressed from two alternative promoters in the mouse and that the relative expression of Il33a and Il33b transcripts is cell type- and stimulus-dependent.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alternative Splicing / genetics
  • Alternative Splicing / immunology*
  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dendritic Cells / cytology
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / immunology*
  • Interleukin-33
  • Interleukins / genetics*
  • Macrophages / cytology
  • Macrophages / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Myeloid Cells / cytology
  • Myeloid Cells / immunology
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / genetics*


  • Il33 protein, mouse
  • Interleukin-33
  • Interleukins