Myeloid ELF1-like Factor Is a Potent Activator of Interleukin-8 Expression in Hematopoietic Cells

Cyrus V. Hedvat, Jin Juan Yao, Robert A. Sokolic, Stephen D. Nimer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Myeloid ELF1-like factor (MEF), also known as ELF4, is a member of the ETS family of transcription factors which is expressed in hematopoietic cells. MEF-deficient mice have defects in natural killer cell and natural killer T cell development, suggesting a role for MEF in regulating innate immunity. MEF also functions in myeloid cells, where it can transactivate target genes. To identify MEF target genes in a "myeloid" environment, we created an inducible expression system and used oligonucleotide microarrays to examine the transcript profile of HEL cells after induction of MEF expression. Sixteen genes were reproducibly turned on or off more than 2-fold, 8 h after induction of MEF expression, and we examined one of the genes, interleukin-8 (IL-8), in greater detail. IL-8 is a CXC chemokine involved in neutrophil chemoattraction, angiogenesis, and stem cell mobilization. It is expressed by several tumor types, and its expression is regulated primarily transcriptionally. The IL-8 promoter contains three ETS binding sites, and we identified the specific site that binds MEF and is required for MEF responsiveness. MEF, but not the closely related ETS factors PEA3, ETS1, ETS2, ELF1, or PU.1, strongly activates the IL-8 promoter. MEF overexpression is sufficient to induce IL-8 protein expression, and reduction in MEF expression (using RNA interference) results in decreased IL-8 levels. These data demonstrates that MEF is an important regulator of IL-8 expression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6395-6400
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number8
StatePublished - Feb 20 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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