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The acute monocytic leukemia cell line THP-1 secretes predominantly IL-1 beta after treatment with bacterial lipopolysaccharide and tumour promoting phorbol ester (PMA). IL-1 alpha is also secreted, but represents less than 10% of the total IL-1 activity. This differential is reflected at the level of mRNA as IL-1 beta mRNA is more abundant than IL-1 alpha mRNA. Studies of transcription in isolated nuclei however indicate that each gene is transcribed at a similar rate, suggesting that post-transcriptional mechanisms regulate the relative abundance of IL-1 alpha and IL-1 beta mRNA. Measurement of RNA half life after addition of alpha-amanitin (an inhibitor of RNA polymerase II) indicate that IL-1 alpha mRNA is not as stable as IL-1 beta mRNA suggesting one mechanism for the different relative levels of RNA.

Original publication




Journal article


Biochem Biophys Res Commun

Publication Date





830 - 839


Amanitins, Cycloheximide, Female, Gene Expression Regulation, Half-Life, Humans, Interleukin-1, Kinetics, Leukemia, Monocytic, Acute, Lipopolysaccharides, RNA Polymerase II, RNA, Messenger, Tetradecanoylphorbol Acetate, Transcription, Genetic, Tumor Cells, Cultured