Differential effects of γ-interferon on collagen and fibronectin gene expression

M. J. Czaja, F. R. Weiner, M. Eghbali, M. A. Giambrone, M. Eghbali, M. A. Zern

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129 Scopus citations


The interferons are a group of endogenous proteins that exhibit a variety of biological functions in addition to their ability to induce resistance to viruses. In order to evaluate the anti-fibrogenic actions of interferon, we have delineated the level of regulation responsible for γ-interferon-induced changes in collagen and fibronectin gene expression in cultured fibroblasts. Confluent human skin fibroblasts were exposed to 500 anti-viral units/ml of γ-interferon. RNA was then extracted from the cells, and steady-state mRNA levels were determined by Northern and dot blot hybridization studies. Cells exposed to interferon had type I procollagen mRNA levels that were 23% of control and type III procollagen mRNA levels only 7% of control. The interferon-treated cells also had β-actin mRNA levels that were decreased to 51% that of untreated cells but had fibronectin steady-state mRNA levels that were 560% of control levels. Nuclear run-on assays revealed that interferon did not affect the transcriptional rates of types I and III collagen or β-actin, but it did increase the transcriptional rate of fibronectin to 670% of control levels. These findings demonstrate that γ-interferon causes a marked decrease in types I and III procollagen mRNA levels in vitro by a posttranscriptional mechanism while inducing fibronectin expression at a transcriptional level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13348-13351
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number27
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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