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(1/1457) All-trans-retinoic acid inhibits Jun N-terminal kinase by increasing dual-specificity phosphatase activity.

Jun N-terminal kinases (JNKs) are serine-threonine kinases that play a critical role in the regulation of cell growth and differentiation. We previously observed that JNK activity is suppressed by all-trans-retinoic acid (t-RA), a ligand for retinoic acid nuclear receptors (RARs), in normal human bronchial epithelial cells, which are growth inhibited by t-RA. In this study, we investigated the mechanism by which t-RA inhibits JNK and the possibility that this signaling event is blocked in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells. Virtually all NSCLC cell lines are resistant to the growth-inhibitory effects of t-RA, and a subset of them have a transcriptional defect specific to retinoid nuclear receptors. We found that in NSCLC cells expressing functional retinoid receptors, serum-induced JNK phosphorylation and activity were inhibited by t-RA in a bimodal pattern, transiently within 30 min and in a sustained fashion beginning at 12 h. Retinoid receptor transcriptional activation was required for the late, but not the early, suppression of JNK activity. t-RA inhibited serum-induced JNK activity by blocking mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase kinase 4-induced signaling events. This effect of t-RA was phosphatase dependent and involved an increase in the expression of the dual-specificity MAP kinase phosphatase 1 (MKP-1). t-RA did not activate MKP-1 expression or inhibit JNK activity in a NSCLC cell line with retinoid receptors that are refractory to ligand-induced transcriptional activation. These findings provide the first evidence that t-RA suppresses JNK activity by inhibiting JNK phosphorylation. Retinoid receptor transcriptional activation was necessary for the sustained inhibition of JNK activity by t-RA, and this signaling event was disrupted in NSCLC cells with retinoid receptors that are refractory to ligand-induced transcriptional activation.  (+info)

(2/1457) Vitamin E succinate (VES) induces Fas sensitivity in human breast cancer cells: role for Mr 43,000 Fas in VES-triggered apoptosis.

Fas (CD95/APO-1) is an important mediator of apoptosis. We show that Fas-resistant MCF-7, MDA-MB-231, and MDA-MB-435 human breast cancer cells become responsive to anti-Fas (CD95) agonistic antibody-triggered apoptosis after pretreatment or cotreatment with vitamin E succinate (VES; RRR-alpha-tocopheryl succinate). In contrast, no enhancement of anti-Fas agonistic antibody-triggered apoptosis was observed following VES pretreatment or cotreatment with Fas-sensitive primary cultures of human mammary epithelial cells, immortalized MCF-10A cells, or T47D human breast cancer cells. Although VES is itself a potent apoptotic triggering agent, the 6-h pretreatment procedure for Fas sensitization did not initiate VES-mediated apoptosis. The combination of VES plus anti-Fas in pretreatment protocols was synergistic, inducing 2.8-, 3.0-, and 6.3-fold enhanced apoptosis in Fas-resistant MCF-7, MDA-MB-231, and MDA-MB-435 cells, respectively. Likewise, cotreatment of Fas-resistant MCF-7, MDA-MB-231, and MDA-MB-435 cells with VES plus anti-Fas enhanced apoptosis 1.9-, 2.0-, and 2.6-fold, respectively. Functional knockout of Fas-mediated signaling with either Fas-neutralizing antibody (MCF-7-, MDA-MB-231-, and MDA-MB-435-treated cells) or Fas antisense oligomers (MDA-MB-435-treated cells only), reduced VES-triggered apoptosis by approximately 50%. Analyses of whole cell extracts from Fas-sensitive cells revealed high constitutive expression of Mr 43,000 Fas, whereas Fas-resistant cells expressed low levels that were confined to the cytosolic fraction. VES treatment of the Fas-resistant cells caused a depletion of cytosolic Mr 43,000 Fas with a concomitant increase in Mr 43,000 membrane Fas. These data show that VES can convert Fas-resistant human breast cancer cells to a Fas-sensitive phenotype, perhaps by translocation of cytosolic Mr 43,000 Fas to the membrane and show that VES-mediated apoptosis involves Mr 43,000 Fas signaling.  (+info)

(3/1457) Activation of c-fos promoter by Gbetagamma-mediated signaling: involvement of Rho and c-Jun N-terminal kinase.

Several extracellular stimuli mediated by G protein-coupled receptors activate c-fos promoter. Recently, we and other groups have demonstrated that signals from G protein-coupled receptors stimulate mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), and p38 MAPK. The activation of these three MAPKs is mediated in part by the G protein betagamma subunit (Gbetagamma). In this study, we characterized the signals from Gbetagamma to c-fos promoter using transient transfection of c-fos luciferase into human embryonal kidney 293 cells. Activation of m2 muscarinic acetylcholine receptor and overexpression of Gbetagamma, but not constitutively active Galphai2, stimulated c-fos promoter activity. The c-fos promoter activation by m2 receptor and Gbetagamma was inhibited by beta-adrenergic receptor kinase C-terminal peptide (betaARKct), which functions as a Gbetagamma antagonist. MEK1 inhibitor PD98059 and kinase-deficient mutant of JNK kinase, but not p38 MAPK inhibitor SB203580, attenuated the m2 receptor- and Gbetagamma-induced c-fos promoter activation. Activated mutants of Ras and Rho stimulated the c-fos promoter activity, and the dominant negative mutants of Ras and Rho inhibited the c-fos promoter activation by m2 receptor and Gbetagamma. Moreover, c-fos promoter activation by m2 receptor, Gbetagamma, and active Rho, but not active Ras, was inhibited by botulinum C3 toxin. These data indicated that both Ras- and Rho-dependent signaling pathways are essential for c-fos promoter activation mediated by Gbetagamma.  (+info)

(4/1457) Regulation of JNK signaling by GSTp.

Studies of low basal Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) activity in non-stressed cells led us to identify a JNK inhibitor that was purified and identified as glutathione S-transferase Pi (GSTp) and was characterized as a JNK-associated protein. UV irradiation or H2O2 treatment caused GSTp oligomerization and dissociation of the GSTp-JNK complex, indicating that it is the monomeric form of GSTp that elicits JNK inhibition. Addition of purified GSTp to the Jun-JNK complex caused a dose-dependent inhibition of JNK activity. Conversely, immunodepleting GSTp from protein extracts attenuated JNK inhibition. Furthermore, JNK activity was increased in the presence of specific GSTp inhibitors and a GSTp-derived peptide. Forced expression of GSTp decreased MKK4 and JNK phosphorylation which coincided with decreased JNK activity, increased c-Jun ubiquitination and decreased c-Jun-mediated transcription. Co-transfection of MEKK1 and GSTp restored MKK4 phosphorylation but did not affect GSTp inhibition of JNK activity, suggesting that the effect of GSTp on JNK is independent of the MEKK1-MKK4 module. Mouse embryo fibroblasts from GSTp-null mice exhibited a high basal level of JNK activity that could be reduced by forced expression of GSTp cDNA. In demonstrating the relationships between GSTp expression and its association with JNK, our findings provide new insight into the regulation of stress kinases.  (+info)

(5/1457) TGF-beta induces fibronectin synthesis through a c-Jun N-terminal kinase-dependent, Smad4-independent pathway.

Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) exerts its effects on cell proliferation, differentiation and migration in part through its modulation of extracellular matrix components, such as fibronectin and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1). Although the SMAD family of proteins recently has been shown to be a key participant in TGF-beta signaling, other signaling pathways have also been shown to be activated by TGF-beta. We report here that c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), a member of the MAP kinase family, is activated in response to TGF-beta in the human fibrosarcoma HT1080-derived cell line BAHgpt. Stable expression of dominant-negative forms of JNK1 and MKK4, an upstream activator of JNK, results in loss of TGF-beta-stimulated fibronectin mRNA and protein induction, while having little effect on TGF-beta-induced levels of PAI-1. The human fibronectin promoter contains three CRE elements, one of which has been shown to bind a c-Jun-ATF-2 heterodimer. Utilizing a GAL4 fusion trans-reporting system, we demonstrate a decrease in transactivating potential of GAL4-c-Jun and GAL4-ATF-2 in dominant-negative JNK1- and MKK4-expressing cells. Finally, we show that TGF-beta-induced fibronectin synthesis is independent of Smad4. These results demonstrate that TGF-beta-mediated fibronectin induction requires activation of JNK which in turn modulates the activity of c-Jun and ATF-2 in a Smad4independent manner.  (+info)

(6/1457) Requirement for nuclear factor-kappaB activation by a distinct subset of CD40-mediated effector functions in B lymphocytes.

CD40 stimulation, which is crucial for generating an effective T-dependent humoral response, leads to the activation of transcription factors NF-AT (nuclear factor of activated T cells), AP-1 (activator protein-1), and NF-kappaB (nuclear factor-kappaB). However, which CD40-mediated B cell functions actually require activation of specific transcription factors is unknown. We examined the causal relationship between NF-kappaB activation and CD40 effector functions by evaluating CD40 functions in the presence of an inducible mutant inhibitory kappaBalpha (IkappaBalpha) superrepressor. IkappaBalphaAA inhibited nuclear translocation of multiple NF-kappaB dimers without the complicating effect of depriving cells of NF-kappaB during development. This approach complements studies that use mice genetically deficient in single or multiple NF-kappaB subunits. Interestingly, only a subset of CD40 effector functions was found to require NF-kappaB activation. Both CD40-induced Ab secretion and B7-1 up-regulation were completely abrogated by expression of IkappaBalphaAA. Surprisingly, up-regulation of Fas, CD23, and ICAM-1 was partially independent, and up-regulation of LFA-1 was completely independent, of CD40-induced NF-kappaB activation. For the first time, it is clear that distinct transcription factors are required for the dynamic regulation of CD40 functions.  (+info)

(7/1457) Signal transduction and biological function of placenta growth factor in primary human trophoblast.

Placenta growth factor (PlGF), a member of the vascular endothelial growth factor family of angiogenic factors, is prominently expressed by trophoblast. In addition to its role as a paracrine angiogenic factor within the placenta and endometrium, presence of its receptor, Flt-1, on trophoblast suggests that PlGF also may have an autocrine role(s) in regulating trophoblast function. To elucidate its role in trophoblast, we examined the signal transduction and functional responses of primary human trophoblast to PlGF. Exogenous PlGF induced specific activation of the stress-activated protein kinase (SAPK) pathways, c-Jun-N terminal kinase (JNK) and p38 kinase, in primary term trophoblast with little to no induction of the extracellular signal regulated kinase (ERK-1 and -2) pathways. In contrast, PlGF induced significant ERK-1 and -2 activity in human umbilical vein endothelial cells but did not induce JNK or p38 activity. PlGF-induced activation of the SAPK signaling pathways protected trophoblast from growth factor withdrawal-induced apoptosis, but it did not protect trophoblast from apoptosis induced by the pro-inflammatory cytokines, interferon gamma and tumor necrosis factor alpha. These results provide the first direct evidence of a biochemical and functional role for PlGF/Flt-1 in normal trophoblast and suggest that aberrant PlGF expression during pregnancy may impact upon trophoblast function as well as vascularity within the placental bed.  (+info)

(8/1457) MEKK-1, a component of the stress (stress-activated protein kinase/c-Jun N-terminal kinase) pathway, can selectively activate Smad2-mediated transcriptional activation in endothelial cells.

Smad proteins are essential components of the intracellular signaling pathways utilized by members of the transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) superfamily of growth factors. Certain Smad proteins (e.g. Smad1, -2, and -3) can act as regulated transcriptional activators, a process that involves phosphorylation of these proteins by activated TGF-beta superfamily receptors. We demonstrate that the intracellular kinase mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase-1 (MEKK-1), an upstream activator of the stress-activated protein kinase/c-Jun N-terminal kinase pathway, can participate in Smad2-dependent transcriptional events in cultured endothelial cells. A constitutively active form of MEKK-1 but not mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase-1 (MEK-1) or TGF-beta-activated kinase-1, two distinct intracellular kinases, can specifically activate a Gal4-Smad2 fusion protein, and this effect correlates with an increase in the phosphorylation state of the Smad2 protein. These effects do not require the presence of the C-terminal SSXS motif of Smad2 that is the site of TGF-beta type 1 receptor-mediated phosphorylation. Activation of Smad2 by active MEKK-1 results in enhanced Smad2-Smad4 interactions, nuclear localization of Smad2 and Smad4, and the stimulation of Smad protein-transcriptional coactivator interactions in endothelial cells. Overexpression of Smad7 can inhibit the MEKK-1-mediated stimulation of Smad2 transcriptional activity. A physiological level of fluid shear stress, a known activator of endogenous MEKK-1 activity in endothelial cells, can stimulate Smad2-mediated transcriptional activity. These data demonstrate a novel mechanism for activation of Smad protein-mediated signaling in endothelial cells and suggest that Smad2 may act as an integrator of diverse stimuli in these cells.  (+info)