Investigating Dynamics of the STAT3 and C/EBPβ Pathways upon Stimulation by Inflammatory Cytokines
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The purpose of this project was to investigate the dynamics of the Jak-STAT3 (STAT3) and Erk-C/EBPβ (C/EBPβ) pathways upon stimulation with inflammatory cytokines such as Interleukin 6 (IL-6) and oncostatin M (OSM), which is also a member of the IL-6 family. Green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter plasmids with STAT3 and C/EBPβ transcription factor binding sequences were transfected into human hepatocarcinoma (HepG2) cells. Upon stimulation with inflammatory cytokines, the transcription factors STAT3 and C/EBPβ were activated and lead to the expression of GFP. The intensity of the observed fluorescence was proportional to the activation of the transcription factors and could be non-invasively monitored using fluorescence microscopy. HepG2 cells with stably integrated reporter plasmids responsive to STAT3 and C/EBPβ into their genome exhibited a high signal-to-noise ratio. Our data showed that the expression of GFP (and hence, the activation of transcription factors) correlated with the specificity of the cytokine used. Future work will focus on investigating (i) dynamics of STAT3 and C/EBPβ clones in response to different concentrations and durations of OSM stimulation and (ii) dynamics of STAT3 and C/EBPβ clones upon exposure to additional cytokines such as IL-10 and IL-1 that are likely to be present along with IL-6.
Cheng, Peng (2011). Investigating Dynamics of the STAT3 and C/EBPβ Pathways upon Stimulation by Inflammatory Cytokines. Available electronically from