(1/7444) Nitric oxide stimulates the stress-activated protein kinase p38 in rat renal mesangial cells.

Nitric oxide (NO) has gained increased attention as a diffusible universal messenger that plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Recently, we reported that exogenous NO is able to activate the stress-activated protein kinase (SAPK) cascade in mesangial cells. Here, we demonstrate that exposure of glomerular mesangial cells to compounds releasing NO, including spermine-NO and (Z)-1- (N-methyl-N-[6-(N-methylammoniohexyl)amino]diazen)-1-ium-1,2-diolate (MAHMA-NO), results in an activation of the stress-activated p38-mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38-MAPK) cascade as measured by the phosphorylation of the activator of transcription factor-2 (ATF2) in an immunocomplex kinase assay. Activation of the p38-MAPK cascade by a short stimulation (10 min) with the NO donor MAHMA-NO causes a large increase in ATF2 phosphorylation that is several times greater than that observed after stimulation with interleukin-1beta, a well-known activator of the p38-MAPK pathway. Time course studies reveal that MAHMA-NO causes rapid and maximal activation of p38-MAPK after 10 min of stimulation and that activation declines to basal levels within 60 min. The longer-lived NO donor spermine-NO causes a comparable rapid activation of the p38-MAPK pathway; however, the increased activation state of p38-MAPK was maintained for several hours before control values were reattained after 24 h of stimulation. Furthermore, the NO donors also activated the classical extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) p44-MAPK cascade as shown by phosphorylation of the specific substrate cytosolic phospholipase A2 in an immunocomplex kinase reaction. Both MAHMA-NO and spermine-NO cause a rapid activation of p44-MAPK after 10 min of stimulation. Interestingly, there is a second delayed peak of p44-MAPK activation after 4-24 h of stimulation with NO donors. These results suggest that there is a differential activation pattern for stress-activated and mitogen-activated protein kinases by NO and that the integration of these signals may lead to specific cell responses.  (+info)

(2/7444) A low-affinity serum response element allows other transcription factors to activate inducible gene expression in cardiac myocytes.

Hypertrophic growth of cardiac muscle cells is induced by a variety of physiological and pathological stimuli and is associated with a number of changes, including activation of genes such as atrial natriuretic factor. We found that two serum response element (SRE)-like DNA elements, one of which does not meet the consensus sequence and binds serum response factor (SRF) with low affinity, regulate the activity of this promoter. Surprisingly, the ability to induce the promoter by two different physiologic stimuli, as well as various activated transcription factors, including SRF-VP16, was primarily dependent upon the nonconsensus rather than the consensus SRE. This SRE controls the induction of gene expression via an unusual mechanism in that it is required to allow some, but not all, active transcription factors at unrelated sites on the promoter to stimulate gene expression. Thus, in addition to regulation of SRF activity by growth stimuli, regulation of a low-affinity SRE element controls inducible gene expression by modulating the ability of other transcription factors to stimulate the transcription machinery.  (+info)

(3/7444) p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase can be involved in transforming growth factor beta superfamily signal transduction in Drosophila wing morphogenesis.

p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38) has been extensively studied as a stress-responsive kinase, but its role in development remains unknown. The fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, has two p38 genes, D-p38a and D-p38b. To elucidate the developmental function of the Drosophila p38's, we used various genetic and pharmacological manipulations to interfere with their functions: expression of a dominant-negative form of D-p38b, expression of antisense D-p38b RNA, reduction of the D-p38 gene dosage, and treatment with the p38 inhibitor SB203580. Expression of a dominant-negative D-p38b in the wing imaginal disc caused a decapentaplegic (dpp)-like phenotype and enhanced the phenotype of a dpp mutant. Dpp is a secretory ligand belonging to the transforming growth factor beta superfamily which triggers various morphogenetic processes through interaction with the receptor Thick veins (Tkv). Inhibition of D-p38b function also caused the suppression of the wing phenotype induced by constitutively active Tkv (TkvCA). Mosaic analysis revealed that D-p38b regulates the Tkv-dependent transcription of the optomotor-blind (omb) gene in non-Dpp-producing cells, indicating that the site of D-p38b action is downstream of Tkv. Furthermore, forced expression of TkvCA induced an increase in the phosphorylated active form(s) of D-p38(s). These results demonstrate that p38, in addition to its role as a transducer of emergency stress signaling, may function to modulate Dpp signaling.  (+info)

(4/7444) Activation of stress-activated protein kinase/c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase and p38 kinase in calphostin C-induced apoptosis requires caspase-3-like proteases but is dispensable for cell death.

Apoptosis was induced in human glioma cell lines by exposure to 100 nM calphostin C, a specific inhibitor of protein kinase C. Calphostin C-induced apoptosis was associated with synchronous down-regulation of Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL as well as activation of caspase-3 but not caspase-1. The exposure to calphostin C led to activation of stress-activated protein kinase/c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (SAPK/JNK) and p38 kinase and concurrent inhibition of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK). Upstream of ERK, Shc was shown to be activated, but its downstream Raf1 and ERK were inhibited. The pretreatment with acetyl-Tyr-Val-Ala-Asp-aldehyde, a relatively selective inhibitor of caspase-3, or benzyloxycarbonyl-Val-Ala-Asp-fluoromethylketone (z-VAD.fmk), a broad spectrum caspase inhibitor, similarly inhibited calphostin C-induced activation of SAPK/JNK and p38 kinase as well as apoptotic nuclear damages (chromatin condensation and DNA fragmentation) and cell shrinkage, suggesting that caspase-3 functions upstream of SAPK/JNK and p38 kinase, but did not block calphostin C-induced surface blebbing and cell death. On the other hand, the inhibition of SAPK/JNK by transfection of dominant negative SAPK/JNK and that of p38 kinase by SB203580 induced similar effects on the calphostin C-induced apoptotic phenotypes and cell death as did z-VAD.fmk and acetyl-Tyr-Val-Ala-Asp-aldehyde, but the calphostin C-induced PARP cleavage was not changed, suggesting that SAPK/JNK and p38 kinase are involved in the DNA fragmentation pathway downstream of caspase-3. The present findings suggest, therefore, that the activation of SAPK/JNK and p38 kinase is dispensable for calphostin C-mediated and z-VAD.fmk-resistant cell death.  (+info)

(5/7444) Acetyl-CoA:1-O-alkyl-2-lyso-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine acetyltransferase is directly activated by p38 kinase.

Acetyl-CoA:1-O-alkyl-2-lyso-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine acetyltransferase, along with phospholipase A2, is a key regulator of platelet-activating factor biosynthesis via the remodeling pathway. We have now obtained evidence in human neutrophils indicating that this enzyme is regulated by a specific member of the mitogen-activated protein kinases, namely the p38 kinase. We earlier demonstrated that tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) as well as N-formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine treatment leads to increased phosphorylation and activation of p38 kinase in human neutrophils. Strikingly, in the present study these stimuli increased the catalytic activity of acetyltransferase up to 3-fold, whereas 4-phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate, which activates the extracellular-regulated kinases (ERKs) but not p38 kinase, had no effect. Furthermore, a selective inhibitor of p38 kinase, SB 203580, was able to abolish the TNF-alpha- and N-formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine-induced activation of acetyltransferase. The same effect was not observed in the presence of an inhibitor that blocked ERK activation (PD 98059). Complementing the findings in intact cells, we have shown that recombinant, activated p38 kinase added to microsomes in the presence of Mg2+ and ATP increased acetyltransferase activity to the same degree as in microsomes obtained from TNF-alpha-stimulated cells. No activation of acetyltransferase occurred upon treatment of microsomes with either recombinant, activated ERK-1 or ERK-2. Finally, the increases in acetyltransferase activity induced by TNF-alpha could be ablated by treating the microsomes with alkaline phosphatase. Thus acetyltransferase appears to be a downstream target for p38 kinase but not ERKs. These data from whole cells as well as cell-free systems fit a model wherein stimulus-induced acetyltransferase activation is mediated by a phosphorylation event catalyzed directly by p38 kinase.  (+info)

(6/7444) Raf-1 is activated by the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase inhibitor, SB203580.

SB203580 (4-(4-fluorophenyl)-2-(4-methylsulfinylphenyl)-5-(4-pyridyl)1H-imi dazole) is widely used as a specific inhibitor of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK). Here, we report that SB203580 activates the serine/threonine kinase Raf-1 in quiescent smooth muscle cells in a dose-dependent fashion. The concentrations of SB203580 required lie above those necessary to inhibit p38 MAPK and we were unable to detect basal levels of active p38 MAPK. SB203580 does not directly activate Raf-1 in vitro, and fails to activate Ras, MEK, and ERK in intact cells. In vitro, however, SB203580-stimulated Raf-1 activates MEK1 in a coupled assay. We conclude that activation of Raf-1 by SB203580 is not mediated by an inhibition of p38 MAPK, is Ras-independent, and is uncoupled from MEK/ERK signaling.  (+info)

(7/7444) An inhibitor of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase protects neonatal cardiac myocytes from ischemia.

Cellular ischemia results in activation of a number of kinases, including p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK); however, it is not yet clear whether p38 MAPK activation plays a role in cellular damage or is part of a protective response against ischemia. We have developed a model to study ischemia in cultured neonatal rat cardiac myocytes. In this model, two distinct phases of p38 MAPK activation were observed during ischemia. The first phase began within 10 min and lasted less than 1 h, and the second began after 2 h and lasted throughout the ischemic period. Similar to previous studies using in vivo models, the nonspecific activator of p38 MAPK and c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase, anisomycin, protected cardiac myocytes from ischemic injury, decreasing the release of cytosolic lactate dehydrogenase by approximately 25%. We demonstrated, however, that a selective inhibitor of p38 MAPK, SB 203580, also protected cardiac myocytes against extended ischemia in a dose-dependent manner. The protective effect was seen even when the inhibitor was present during only the second, sustained phase of p38 MAPK activation. We found that ischemia induced apoptosis in neonatal rat cardiac myocytes and that SB 203580 reduced activation of caspase-3, a key event in apoptosis. These results suggest that p38 MAPK induces apoptosis during ischemia in cardiac myocytes and that selective inhibition of p38 MAPK could be developed as a potential therapy for ischemic heart disease.  (+info)

(8/7444) Cot protooncoprotein activates the dual specificity kinases MEK-1 and SEK-1 and induces differentiation of PC12 cells.

Mitogenic signals initiated at the plasma membrane are transmitted to the nucleus through an intricate signalling network. We identified the protooncoprotein Cot as a new component of mitogenic signalling cascades, which activates both the classic cytoplasmic cascade and the SAPK stress pathway. Wildtype and activated Cot phosphorylate and activate MEK-1 and SEK-1 in vitro. These findings are consistent with the sequence homology between Cot and the rat gene Tpl-2. Expression of oncogenic Cot in 293, NIH3T3 and PC12 cells leads to in vivo phosphorylation of endogenous c-Jun and Erk-1/2 suggesting that the serine/threonine kinase Cot functions beside c-Raf-1 and Mos as a direct activator of MEK-1. Furthermore, we have examined the biological effects of Cot on the phenotype of fibroblastic and neuronal cells. In order to test a potential c-Raf-1 dependency of Cot transformation, the effect of oncogenic Cot on Raf revertant CHP25 cells was determined. Cot could restore the transformed phenotype indicating that Cot transformation is not dependent on active c-Raf-1 and that Cot is not a target for the putative Raf inhibitor, which is presumably active in the revertant cell line. Expression of oncogenic versions of Raf as well as v-Mos leads to differentiation of PC12 cells. Cot also induces neurite outgrowth of PC12 cells. These data are consistent with the role of Cot in the classic mitogenic cascade and suggest that the simultaneously activated JNK/SAPK stress pathway has no antagonistic effects in this context.  (+info)