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Transcriptional regulation of the human toll-like receptor 2 gene in monocytes and macrophages

Abstract

This report investigates the molecular basis for tissue-restricted and regulated expression of the pattern recognition receptor Toll-like receptor (TLR)2 in human monocytes and macrophages. To define the proximal promoter, the full 5'-sequence and transcriptional start sites of TLR2 mRNA were determined. The human TLR2 gene was found to consist of two 5' noncoding exons followed by a third coding exon. Alternative splicing of exon II was detected primarily in human blood monocytes. The proximal promoter, exon I, and part of intron I were found to be located in a CpG island. Although CpG methylation of the proximal human TLR2 promoter in cell lines correlated with TLR2 repression, the promoter was unmethylated in primary cells, indicating that CpG methylation does not contribute to the cell-type specific expression of human TLR2 in normal tissues. The promoter sequence contains putative binding sites for several transcription factors, including Sp1 and Ets family members. Reporter gene analysis revealed a minimal promoter of 220 bp that was found to be regulated by Sp1, Sp3, and possibly PU.1. Interestingly, no sequence homology was detected between human and murine TLR2 promoter regions. In contrast to murine TLR2, expression of human TLR2 in monocytes/macrophages is not induced by the proinflammatory stimuli LPS or macrophage-activating lipopeptide-2, and reporter activity of the promoter was not enhanced by stimuli-induced NF-kappaB activation in THP-1 or MonoMac-6 cells. Our findings provide an initial definition of the human TLR2 promoter and reveal profound differences in the regulation of an important pattern recognition molecule in humans and mice.

Authors: Haehnel V, Schwarzfischer L, Fenton MJ, Rehli M
Journal: J Immunol 168: 5629-5637
Year: 2002
PubMed: Find in PubMed