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(1/232) Mitogen-activated protein kinase cascade and transcription factors: the opposite role of MKK3/6-p38K and MKK1-MAPK.

Recent studies have revealed that mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) consists of at least three subfamilies, namely classical MAPK (also known as ERK), stress-activated protein kinase/c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and p38 kinase. TGF-beta-activating kinase (TAK)-1 is a novel MAPKKK which is reported to stimulate p38K and/or the JNK pathway. To elucidate the functional roles of the TAK1 pathway, we transfected its constitutive active form (TAK1dN) and negative form (TAK1K63W) into LLC-PK1 cells. TAKdN inhibited [3H]thymidine uptake and reduced the percentages of S and G2/M phases. TAK1K63W ameliorated the inhibitory effects of TGF-beta on [3H]thymidine uptake and increased the percentages of S and G2/M phases. Western blot analysis demonstrates that the level of cyclin D1 protein was regulated negatively by overexpression of TAK1dN. Moreover, overexpression of TAK1dN inhibited cyclin D1 promoter activity. In contrast, constitutive active MKK1, the classical p42/44 MAPK activator, increased cyclin D1 promoter activity and level of protein. Overexpression of the active form of MKK1 increased [3H]thymidine uptake, while the inactive form decreased the uptake. In conclusion, cyclin D1 promoter activity and cell cycle progression are regulated negatively by the TAK1 pathway and positively by the classical MAPK pathway.  (+info)

(2/232) Selective activation and functional significance of p38alpha mitogen-activated protein kinase in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated neutrophils.

Activation of leukocytes by proinflammatory stimuli selectively initiates intracellular signal transduction via sequential phosphorylation of kinases. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulation of human neutrophils is known to result in activation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPk); however, the upstream activator(s) of p38 MAPk is unknown, and consequences of p38 MAPk activation remain largely undefined. We investigated the MAPk kinase (MKK) that activates p38 MAPk in response to LPS, the p38 MAPk isoforms that are activated as part of this pathway, and the functional responses affected by p38 MAPk activation. Although MKK3, MKK4, and MKK6 all activated p38 MAPk in experimental models, only MKK3 was found to activate recombinant p38 MAPk in LPS-treated neutrophils. Of p38 MAPk isoforms studied, only p38alpha and p38delta were detected in neutrophils. LPS stimulation selectively activated p38alpha. Specific inhibitors of p38alpha MAPk blocked LPS-induced adhesion, nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kappaB) activation, and synthesis of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha). Inhibition of p38alpha MAPk resulted in a transient decrease in TNF-alpha mRNA accumulation but persistent loss of TNF-alpha synthesis. These findings support a pathway by which LPS stimulation of neutrophils results in activation of MKK3, which in turn activates p38alpha MAPk, ultimately regulating adhesion, NF-kappaB activation, enhanced gene expression of TNF-alpha, and regulation of TNF-alpha synthesis.  (+info)

(3/232) Mitogen-activated protein kinase/ERK kinase kinases 2 and 3 activate nuclear factor-kappaB through IkappaB kinase-alpha and IkappaB kinase-beta.

Recent evidence indicates that nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB), a transcription factor critically important for immune and inflammatory responses, is activated by a protein kinase cascade. The essential features of this cascade are that a mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase (MAP3K) activates an IkappaB kinase (IKK) that site-specifically phosphorylates IkappaB. The IkappaB protein, which ordinarily sequesters NF-kappaB in the cytoplasm, is subsequently degraded by the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway, thereby allowing the nuclear translocation of NF-kappaB. Thus far, only two MAP3Ks, NIK and MEKK1, have been identified that can activate this pathway. We now show that MEKK2 and MEKK3 can in vivo activate IKK-alpha and IKK-beta, induce site-specific IkappaBalpha phosphorylation, and, relatively modestly, activate an NF-kappaB reporter gene. In addition, dominant negative versions of either IKK-alpha or IKK-beta abolish NF-kappaB activation induced by MEKK2 or MEKK3, thereby providing evidence that these IKKs mediate the NF-kappaB-inducing activities of these MEKKs. In contrast, other MAP3Ks, including MEKK4, ASK1, and MLK3, fail to show evidence of activation of the NF-kappaB pathway. We conclude that a distinct subset of MAP3Ks can activate NF-kappaB.  (+info)

(4/232) Activation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase by PYK2/related adhesion focal tyrosine kinase-dependent mechanism.

The stress-activated p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38 MAPK), a member of the subgroup of mammalian kinases, appears to play an important role in regulating inflammatory responses, including cytokine secretion and apoptosis. The upstream mediators that link extracellular signals with the p38 MAPK signaling pathway are currently unknown. Here we demonstrate that pp125 focal adhesion kinase-related tyrosine kinase RAFTK (also known as PYK2, CADTK) is activated specifically by methylmethane sulfonate (MMS) and hyperosmolarity but not by ultraviolet radiation, ionizing radiation, or cis-platinum. Overexpression of RAFTK leads to the activation of p38 MAPK. Furthermore, overexpression of a dominant-negative mutant of RAFTK (RAFTK K-M) inhibits MMS-induced p38 MAPK activation. MKK3 and MKK6 are known potential constituents of p38 MAPK signaling pathway, whereas SEK1 and MEK1 are upstream activators of SAPK/JNK and ERK pathways, respectively. We observe that the dominant-negative mutant of MKK3 but not of MKK6, SEK1, or MEK1 inhibits RAFTK-induced p38 MAPK activity. Furthermore, the results demonstrate that treatment of cells with 1, 2-bis(2-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid, tetra(acetoxymethyl)-ester, a membrane-permeable calcium chelator, inhibits MMS-induced activation of RAFTK and p38 MAPK. Taken together, these findings indicate that RAFTK represents a stress-sensitive mediator of the p38 MAPK signaling pathway in response to certain cytotoxic agents.  (+info)

(5/232) Defective IL-12 production in mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase kinase 3 (Mkk3)-deficient mice.

The p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway, like the c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) MAPK pathway, is activated in response to cellular stress and inflammation and is involved in many fundamental biological processes. To study the role of the p38 MAPK pathway in vivo, we have used homologous recombination in mice to inactivate the Mkk3 gene, one of the two specific MAPK kinases (MAPKKs) that activate p38 MAPK. Mkk3(-/-) mice were viable and fertile; however, they were defective in interleukin-12 (IL-12) production by macrophages and dendritic cells. Interferon-gamma production following immunization with protein antigens and in vitro differentiation of naive T cells is greatly reduced, suggesting an impaired type I cytokine immune response. The effect of the p38 MAPK pathway on IL-12 expression is at least partly transcriptional, since inhibition of this pathway blocks IL-12 p40 promoter activity in macrophage cell lines and IL-12 p40 mRNA is reduced in MKK3-deficient mice. We conclude that the p38 MAP kinase, activated through MKK3, is required for the production of inflammatory cytokines by both antigen-presenting cells and CD4(+) T cells.  (+info)

(6/232) Cell cycle arrest and reversion of Ras-induced transformation by a conditionally activated form of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase 3.

Signal-induced proliferation, differentiation, or stress responses of cells depend on mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascades, the core modules of which consist of members of three successively acting kinase families (MAPK kinase kinase [MAP3K], MAPK kinase, and MAPK). It is demonstrated here that the MEKK3 kinase inhibits cell proliferation, a biologic response not commonly associated with members of the MAP3K family of kinases. A conditionally activated form of MEKK3 stably expressed in fibroblasts arrests these cells in early G1. MEKK3 critically blocks mitogen-driven expression of cyclin D1, a cyclin which is essential for progression of fibroblasts through G1. The MEKK3-induced block of cyclin D1 expression and of cell cycle progression may be mediated via p38 MAPK, a downstream effector of MEKK3. The MEKK3-mediated block of proliferation also reverses Ras-induced cellular transformation, suggesting possible tumor-suppressing functions for this kinase. Together, these results suggest an involvement of the MEKK3 kinase in negative regulation of cell cycle progression, and they provide the first insights into biologic activities of this kinase.  (+info)

(7/232) MEK kinase 3 directly activates MKK6 and MKK7, specific activators of the p38 and c-Jun NH2-terminal kinases.

Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)/extracellular signal-regulated kinase kinase kinase 3 (MEKK3) activates the c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) pathway, although no substrates for MEKK3 have been identified. We have examined the regulation by MEKK3 of MAPK kinase 7 (MKK7) and MKK6, two novel MAPK kinases specific for JNK and p38, respectively. Coexpression of MKK7 with MEKK3 in COS-7 cells enhanced MKK7 autophosphorylation and its ability to activate recombinant JNK1 in vitro. MKK6 autophosphorylation and in vitro activation of p38alpha were also observed following coexpression of MKK6 with MEKK3. MEKK2, a closely related homologue of MEKK3, also activated MKK7 and MKK6 in COS-7 cells. Importantly, immunoprecipitates of either MEKK3 or MEKK2 directly activated recombinant MKK7 and MKK6 in vitro. These data identify MEKK3 as a MAPK kinase kinase specific for MKK7 and MKK6 in the JNK and p38 pathways. We have also examined whether MEKK3 or MEKK2 activates p38 in intact cells using MAPK-activated protein kinase-2 (MAPKAPK2) as an affinity ligand and substrate. Anisomycin, sorbitol, or the expression of MEKK3 in HEK293 cells enhanced MAPKAPK2 phosphorylation, whereas MEKK2 was less effective. Furthermore, MAPKAPK2 phosphorylation induced by MEKK3 or cellular stress was abolished by the p38 inhibitor SB-203580, suggesting that MEKK3 is coupled to p38 activation in intact cells.  (+info)

(8/232) Phosphorylation of MAP kinases by MAP/ERK involves multiple regions of MAP kinases.

Mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases are activated with great specificity by MAP/ERK kinases (MEKs). The basis for the specific activation is not understood. In this study chimeras composed of two MAP kinases, extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase 2 and p38, were assayed in vitro for phosphorylation and activation by different MEK isoforms to probe the requirements for productive interaction of MAP kinases with MEKs. Experimental results and modeling support the conclusion that the specificity of MEK/MAP kinase phosphorylation results from multiple contacts, including surfaces in both the N- and C-terminal domains.  (+info)