Transcriptional regulation of serum amyloid A gene expression

C. A. Lowell, R. S. Stearman, J. F. Morrow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

130 Scopus citations


Serum amyloid A (SAA) is a plasma apolipoprotein produced by the liver in response to inflammatory stimuli. The murine SAA gene family is made up of three genes, SAA1, SAA2, and SAA3, plus a pseudogene. The SAA1 and SAA2 genes are highly homologous while the SAA3 gene has diverged substantially from the other two genes. Using small fragments from the cloned genes, we have analyzed the expression of each gene in the SAA family. Within 12 h after endotoxin administration, total liver SAA mRNA increases by 2000-fold, reaching approximately 20,000 transcripts/cell. Each gene accounts for approximately one-third of total SAA mRNA transcripts at this time. The increase is specific, since the levels of the mRNAs encoding albumin and apolipoprotein A-I in liver decrease 2-fold by 24 h. This correlates with a 2-fold decrease of the serum concentrations of these two protients as well as their in vitro protein synthesis in primary hepatocytes. Saa1+2 mRNAs maintain their maximum levels until 36 h after lipopolysaccharide administration, while SAA3 mRNA is degraded to 20% its maximal level. As assayed by in vitro transcription in isolated hepatocyte nuclei, total SAA gene transcirption increases at least 300-fold during the inflammatory response. The transcription rates of the individual SAA genes are similar during the initial stages of this response, reaching peak levels at 3 h. A comparison of the rates of SAA gene transcription and SAA mRNA accumulation suggests that SAA mRNA levels are regulated during the acute phase response by increased transcription and mRNA stabilization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8453-8461
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number18
StatePublished - Dec 1 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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