17 beta-Estradiol inhibits expression of human interleukin-6 promoter-reporter constructs by a receptor-dependent mechanism

J Clin Invest. 1994 Mar;93(3):944-50. doi: 10.1172/JCI117100.


We previously reported that 17 beta-estradiol inhibits cytokine-stimulated bioassayable IL-6 and the steady-state level of IL-6 mRNA. To determine the molecular basis of this effect, the transient expression of chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) reporter plasmid driven by the human IL-6 promoter was studied here in HeLa or murine bone marrow stromal cells (MBA 13.2). 17 beta-estradiol (10(-8) M) completely suppressed stimulated CAT expression in HeLa cells cotransfected with IL-6/CAT constructs and a human estrogen receptor (hER) expression plasmid; but had no effect on reporter expression in HeLa cells not transfected with hER. 17 beta-estradiol also inhibited stimulated expression in MBA 13.2 cells (which express the estrogen receptor constitutively) without the requirement of cotransfection of the hER plasmid. The hormonal effects were indistinguishable between constructs containing a 1.2-kb fragment of the 5' flanking region of the IL-6 gene or only the proximal 225-bp fragment. However, yeast-derived recombinant hER did not bind to the 225-bp segment in DNA band shift assays, nor did the 225-bp fragment compete for binding of an estrogen response element oligonucleotide to yeast-derived estrogen receptor. These data suggest that 17 beta-estradiol inhibits the stimulated expression of the human IL-6 gene through an estrogen receptor mediated indirect effect on the transcriptional activity of the proximal 225-bp sequence of the promoter.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Chloramphenicol O-Acetyltransferase / metabolism
  • Estradiol / pharmacology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6 / genetics*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic*
  • Receptors, Estrogen / physiology*
  • Tetradecanoylphorbol Acetate / pharmacology


  • Interleukin-6
  • Receptors, Estrogen
  • Estradiol
  • Chloramphenicol O-Acetyltransferase
  • Tetradecanoylphorbol Acetate