Histamine, an important chemical mediator, has been shown to regulate inflammation and allergic responses. Stimulation of histamine receptors results in a significant increase in cytoplasmic Ca2+, which could be mediated by inositol trisphosphate (IP3)-dependent store-operated Ca2+ channels (SOC). However, the link between histamine-mediated signaling and activation of inflammatory genes such as cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) is still unknown. Our study indicated that the COX-2 protein was highly expressed in human lung cancer cells. Following stimulation with 10μM of histamine, both store-operated Ca2+ entry (SOCE) and COX-2 gene expression were evoked. Histamine-mediated COX-2 activation can be prevented by 2-APB and SKF-96365, SOC channel inhibitors. In addition, deletion analysis of the COX-2 promoter suggested that the region between -80bp and -250bp, which contains NFκB binding sites, is the key element for histamine-mediated signaling. Knocking down ORAI1, one of the essential molecules of store-operated calcium channels, attenuated histamine-mediated COX-2 expression and NFκB activation. These results indicated that ORAI1-mediated NFκB activation was an important signaling pathway, responsible for transmitting histamine signals that trigger inflammatory reactions.
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