Expression of an exogenous tumor necrosis factor (TNF) gene in TNF- sensitive cell lines confers resistance to TNF-mediated cell lysis
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences . Biomedical Sciences
The journal of immunology. - Baltimore, Md
, p. 2785-2794
TNF, a cytokine with cytotoxic activity on a variety of tumor cells, is mainly produced by macrophages; however, some tumor cell types of non- macrophage origin, apparently resistant to TNF-mediated cell lysis, can also produce TNF. It is not clear whether these cells were TNF- resistant a priori or whether protective mechanisms against toxicity of autocrine TNF may be induced in TNF-producing cells. Murine L929sA fibrosarcoma cells, which are highly sensitive to TNF cytotoxicity, were transfected with the neomycin resistance (neor) gene, alone or in combination with the human (h) or the murine (m) TNF gene. All exogenous genes were under control of the constitutive SV40 early promoter. After cotransfection, the number of neor colonies was 10 to 100% as compared with the number of colonies upon transfection with the neor gene alone. An appreciable fraction of these colonies (50-100%) constitutively produced biologically active TNF. mTNF-producing L929 cells were fully TNF resistant, whereas hTNF-producing cells showed partial TNF resistance. Specific TNF binding could not be detected on mTNF-producing L929sA transfectants, whereas hTNF-producing cells showed reduced TNF binding. Apparently, TNF gene expression, even in a priori TNF-sensitive cells, can induce mechanisms to prevent toxicity by both autocrine and exogenous TNF. No TNF resistance was induced by expression of a gene sequence encoding the 9-kDa membrane-bound presequence part of the 26-kDa mTNF proform. Expression of a mutant 26- kDa TNF gene coding for a quasi-inactive mature mTNF induced only weak TNF resistance as compared with the complete resistance obtained after transfection with the wild-type gene. These findings show that the membrane-bound TNF presequence as such is not sufficient for induction of TNF resistance and imply that the active site of mature TNF is involved in modulation of TNF responsiveness upon autocrine TNF production.