Table of Contents
Metal-Based Drugs
Volume 6 (1999), Issue 4-5, Pages 301-309

Dicyanogold Effects on Lymphokine Production

Departments of Biological Sciences and Chemistry and the Biomedical Chemistry Research Center, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati 45221-0006, OH, USA

Received 3 October 1998; Accepted 19 February 1999

Copyright © 1999 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Having identified dicyanogold(I) as a common metabolite of gold-based antiarthritis drugs, we are investigating the effects of the compound on the production of lymphokines. Handel, etal. 1 suggested that the transcription factor AP-1, critical to the production of a number of cytokines, might be the target for gold compounds because of a critical cysteine within its DNA binding region. Using Jurkat cells, an established cell line as a model for CD4+ lymphocytes, we have shown that dicyanogold inhibits the binding of AP-1 to DNA and inhibits the synthesis of IL-2 mRNA and protein. In a macrophage line, THP-1, which synthesizes IL-1β in response to mitogen, we have shown that dicyanogold inhibits the binding of a second transcription factor, CREB to DNA. Incubation of THP-1 cells with dicyanogold inhibits the production of IL-1β mRNA. These results suggest that the mechanism of action of gold drugs may be through their interaction with transcription factors necessary for the immune activation seen in Rheumatoid Arthritis.