Interferon-γ suppresses activin A/NF-E2 induction of erythroid gene expression through the NF-κB/c-Jun pathway

Wei Hwa Lee, Ming Hui Chung, Yu-Hui Tsai, Ju Ling Chang, Huei Mei Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Interferon (IFN)-γ is a proinflammatory cytokine that is linked to erythropoiesis inhibition and may contribute to anemia. However, the mechanism of IFN-γ-inhibited erythropoiesis is unknown. Activin A, a member of the transforming growth factor (TGF)-β superfamily, induces the erythropoiesis of hematopoietic progenitor cells. In this study, a luciferase reporter assay showed that IFN-γ suppressed activin A-induced ζ-globin promoter activation in K562 erythroblast cells in a dose-dependent manner. Activin A reversed the suppressive effect of IFN-γ on the luciferase activity of ζ-globin promoter in a dose-dependent manner. IFN-γ also suppressed the activation of activin A-induced α-globin promoter. IFN-γ reduced the mRNA expression of α-globin, ζ-globin, NF-E2p45, and GATA-1 induced by activin A. The results also showed that IFN-γ induced c-Jun expression when NF-κBp65 and c-Jun bound to two AP-1-binding sites on the c-Jun promoter. The luciferase activity of α-globin and ζ-globin promoters were enhanced by wild-type c-Jun and eliminated by dominant-negative (DN) c-Jun. The suppressive effects of IFN-γ on the mRNA expression of α-globin and ζ-globin were absent in cells expressing DN c-Jun. The ability of NF-E2 to enhance activin A-induced ζ-globin promoter activation decreased when c-Jun was present, and IFN-γ treatment further enhanced the decreasing effect of c-Jun. Chromatin immunoprecipitation revealed that NF-E2p45 bound to the upstream regulatory element (HS-40) of the α-globin gene cluster in response to activin A, whereas c-Jun eliminated this binding. These results suggest that IFN-γ modulates NF-κB/c-Jun to antagonize activin A-mediated NF-E2 transcriptional activity on globin gene expression.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Feb 15 2014


  • Activin A
  • c-Jun
  • Erythroid gene
  • Interferon-γ
  • NF-E2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Physiology


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