A Distinct Role for Interleukin-6 as a Major Mediator of Cellular Adjustment to an Altered Culture Condition

Hwa Kyung Son, Iha Park, Jue Young Kim, Do Kyeong Kim, Rasika P. Illeperuma, Jung Yoon Bae, Doo Young Lee, Eun Sang Oh, Da Woon Jung, Darren R. Williams, Jin Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Tissue microenvironment adjusts biological properties of different cells by modulating signaling pathways and cell to cell interactions. This study showed that epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT)/ mesenchymal-epithelial transition (MET) can be modulated by altering culture conditions. HPV E6/E7-transfected immortalized oral keratinocytes (IHOK) cultured in different media displayed reversible EMT/MET accompanied by changes in cell phenotype, proliferation, gene expression at transcriptional, and translational level, and migratory and invasive activities. Cholera toxin, a major supplement to culture medium, was responsible for inducing the morphological and biological changes of IHOK. Cholera toxin per se induced EMT by triggering the secretion of interleukin 6 (IL-6) from IHOK. We found IL-6 to be a central molecule that modulates the reversibility of EMT based not only on the mRNA level but also on the level of secretion. Taken together, our results demonstrate that IL-6, a cytokine whose transcription is activated by alterations in culture conditions, is a key molecule for regulating reversible EMT/MET. This study will contribute to understand one way of cellular adjustment for surviving in unfamiliar conditions. J. Cell. Biochem. 116: 2552-2562, 2015.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2552-2562
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Cellular Biochemistry
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Nov 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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