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(1/12422) JNK2 is required for efficient T-cell activation and apoptosis but not for normal lymphocyte development.

BACKGROUND: The Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling pathway has been implicated in cell proliferation and apoptosis, but its function seems to depend on the cell type and inducing signal. In T cells, JNK has been implicated in both antigen-induced activation and apoptosis. RESULTS: We generated mice lacking the JNK2 isozymes. The mutant mice were healthy and fertile but defective in peripheral T-cell activation induced by antibody to the CD3 component of the T-cell receptor (TCR) complex - proliferation and production of interleukin-2 (IL-2), IL-4 and interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) were reduced. The proliferation defect was restored by exogenous IL-2. B-cell activation was normal in the absence of JNK2. Activation-induced peripheral T-cell apoptosis was comparable between mutant and wild-type mice, but immature (CD4(+) CD8(+)) thymocytes lacking JNK2 were resistant to apoptosis induced by administration of anti-CD3 antibody in vivo. The lack of JNK2 also resulted in partial resistance of thymocytes to anti-CD3 antibody in vitro, but had little or no effect on apoptosis induced by anti-Fas antibody, dexamethasone or ultraviolet-C (UVC) radiation. CONCLUSIONS: JNK2 is essential for efficient activation of peripheral T cells but not B cells. Peripheral T-cell activation is probably required indirectly for induction of thymocyte apoptosis resulting from administration of anti-CD3 antibody in vivo. JNK2 functions in a cell-type-specific and stimulus-dependent manner, being required for apoptosis of immature thymocytes induced by anti-CD3 antibody but not for apoptosis induced by anti-Fas antibody, UVC or dexamethasone. JNK2 is not required for activation-induced cell death of mature T cells.  (+info)

(2/12422) Activation of telomerase and its association with G1-phase of the cell cycle during UVB-induced skin tumorigenesis in SKH-1 hairless mouse.

Telomerase is a ribonucleoprotein enzyme that adds hexanucleotide repeats TTAGGG to the ends of chromosomes. Telomerase activation is known to play a crucial role in cell-immortalization and carcinogenesis. Telomerase is shown to have a correlation with cell cycle progression, which is controlled by the regulation of cyclins, cyclin dependent kinases (cdks) and cyclin dependent kinase inhibitors (cdkis). Abnormal expression of these regulatory molecules may cause alterations in cell cycle with uncontrolled cell growth, a universal feature of neoplasia. Skin cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer in humans and the solar UV radiation is its major cause. Here, we investigated modulation in telomerase activity and protein expression of cell cycle regulatory molecules during the development of UVB-induced tumors in SKH-1 hairless mice. The mice were exposed to 180 mjoules/cm2 UVB radiation, thrice weekly for 24 weeks. The animals were sacrificed at 4 week intervals and the studies were performed in epidermis. Telomerase activity was barely detectable in the epidermis of non-irradiated mouse. UVB exposure resulted in a progressive increase in telomerase activity starting from the 4th week of exposure. The increased telomerase activity either persisted or further increased with the increased exposure. In papillomas and carcinomas the enzyme activity was comparable and was 45-fold higher than in the epidermis of control mice. Western blot analysis showed an upregulation in the protein expression of cyclin D1 and cyclin E and their regulatory subunits cdk4 and cdk2 during the course of UVB exposure and in papillomas and carcinomas. The protein expression of cdk6 and ckis viz. p16/Ink4A, p21/Waf1 and p27/Kip1 did not show any significant change in UVB exposed skin, but significant upregulation was observed both in papillomas and carcinomas. The results suggest that telomerase activation may be involved in UVB-induced tumorigenesis in mouse skin and that increased telomerase activity may be associated with G1 phase of the cell cycle.  (+info)

(3/12422) Activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase 1 by UV irradiation is inhibited by wortmannin without affecting c-iun expression.

Activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNKs)/stress-activated protein kinases is an early response of cells upon exposure to DNA-damaging agents. JNK-mediated phosphorylation of c-Jun is currently understood to stimulate the transactivating potency of AP-1 (e.g., c-Jun/c-Fos; c-Jun/ATF-2), thereby increasing the expression of AP-1 target genes. Here we show that stimulation of JNK1 activity is not a general early response of cells exposed to genotoxic agents. Treatment of NIH 3T3 cells with UV light (UV-C) as well as with methyl methanesulfonate (MMS) caused activation of JNK1 and an increase in c-Jun protein and AP-1 binding activity, whereas antineoplastic drugs such as mafosfamide, mitomycin C, N-hydroxyethyl-N-chloroethylnitrosourea, and treosulfan did not elicit this response. The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase inhibitor wortmannin specifically blocked the UV-stimulated activation of JNK1 but did not affect UV-driven activation of extracellular regulated kinase 2 (ERK2). To investigate the significance of JNK1 for transactivation of c-jun, we analyzed the effect of UV irradiation on c-jun expression under conditions of wortmannin-mediated inhibition of UV-induced stimulation of JNK1. Neither the UV-induced increase in c-jun mRNA, c-Jun protein, and AP-1 binding nor the activation of the collagenase and c-jun promoters was affected by wortmannin. In contrast, the mitogen-activated protein kinase/ERK kinase inhibitor PD98056, which blocked ERK2 but not JNK1 activation by UV irradiation, impaired UV-driven c-Jun protein induction and AP-1 binding. Based on the data, we suggest that JNK1 stimulation is not essential for transactivation of c-jun after UV exposure, whereas activation of ERK2 is required for UV-induced signaling leading to elevated c-jun expression.  (+info)

(4/12422) The Jun kinase 2 isoform is preferentially required for epidermal growth factor-induced transformation of human A549 lung carcinoma cells.

We have previously found that epidermal growth factor (EGF) mediates growth through the Jun N-terminal kinase/stress-activated kinase (JNK/SAPK) pathway in A549 human lung carcinoma cells. As observed here, EGF treatment also greatly enhances the tumorigenicity of A549 cells, suggesting an important role for JNK in cancer cell growth (F. Bost, R. McKay, N. Dean, and D. Mercola, J. Biol. Chem. 272:33422-33429, 1997). Several isoforms families of JNK, JNK1, JNK2, and JNK3, have been isolated; they arise from alternative splicing of three different genes and have distinct substrate binding properties. Here we have used specific phosphorothioate oligonucleotides targeted against the two major isoforms, JNK1 and JNK2, to discriminate their roles in EGF-induced transformation. Multiple antisense sequences have been screened, and two high-affinity and specific candidates have been identified. Antisense JNK1 eliminated steady-state mRNA and JNK1 protein expression with a 50% effective concentration (EC50) of <0.1 microM but did not alter JNK2 mRNA or protein levels. Conversely, antisense JNK2 specifically eliminated JNK2 steady-state mRNA and protein expression with an EC50 of 0.1 microM. Antisense JNK1 and antisense JNK2 inhibited by 40 and 70%, respectively, EGF-induced total JNK activity, whereas sense and scrambled-sequence control oligonucleotides had no effect. The elimination of mRNA, protein, and JNK activities lasted 48 and 72 h following a single Lipofectin treatment with antisense JNK1 and JNK2, respectively, indicating sufficient duration for examining the impact of specific elimination on the phenotype. Direct proliferation assays demonstrated that antisense JNK2 inhibited EGF-induced doubling of growth as well as the combination of active antisense oligonucleotides did. EGF treatment also induced colony formation in soft agar. This effect was completely inhibited by antisense JNK2 and combined-antisense treatment but not altered by antisense JNK1 alone. These results show that EGF doubles the proliferation (growth in soft agar as well as tumorigenicity in athymic mice) of A549 lung carcinoma cells and that the JNK2 isoform but not JNK1 is utilized for mediating the effects of EGF. This study represents the first demonstration of a cellular phenotype regulated by a JNK isoform family, JNK2.  (+info)

(5/12422) Postnatal growth failure, short life span, and early onset of cellular senescence and subsequent immortalization in mice lacking the xeroderma pigmentosum group G gene.

The xeroderma pigmentosum group G (XP-G) gene (XPG) encodes a structure-specific DNA endonuclease that functions in nucleotide excision repair (NER). XP-G patients show various symptoms, ranging from mild cutaneous abnormalities to severe dermatological impairments. In some cases, patients exhibit growth failure and life-shortening and neurological dysfunctions, which are characteristics of Cockayne syndrome (CS). The known XPG protein function as the 3' nuclease in NER, however, cannot explain the development of CS in certain XP-G patients. To gain an insight into the functions of the XPG protein, we have generated and examined mice lacking xpg (the mouse counterpart of the human XPG gene) alleles. The xpg-deficient mice exhibited postnatal growth failure and underwent premature death. Since XPA-deficient mice, which are totally defective in NER, do not show such symptoms, our data indicate that XPG performs an additional function(s) besides its role in NER. Our in vitro studies showed that primary embryonic fibroblasts isolated from the xpg-deficient mice underwent premature senescence and exhibited the early onset of immortalization and accumulation of p53.  (+info)

(6/12422) The C-terminal region of hPrp8 interacts with the conserved GU dinucleotide at the 5' splice site.

A U5 snRNP protein, hPrp8, forms a UV-induced crosslink with the 5' splice site (5'SS) RNA within splicing complex B assembled in trans- as well as in cis-splicing reactions. Both yeast and human Prp8 interact with the 5'SS, branch site, polypyrimidine tract, and 3'SS during splicing. To begin to define functional domains in Prp8 we have mapped the site of the 5'SS crosslink within the hPrp8 protein. Immunoprecipitation analysis limited the site of crosslink to the C-terminal 5060-kDa segment of hPrp8. In addition, size comparison of the crosslink-containing peptides generated with different proteolytic reagents with the pattern of fragments predicted from the hPrp8 sequence allowed for mapping of the crosslink to a stretch of five amino acids in the C-terminal portion of hPrp8 (positions 1894-1898). The site of the 5'SS:hPrp8 crosslink falls within a segment spanning the previously defined polypyrimidine tract recognition domain in yPrp8, suggesting that an overlapping region of Prp8 may be involved both in the 5'SS and polypyrimidine tract recognition events. In the context of other known interactions of Prp8, these results suggest that this protein may participate in formation of the catalytic center of the spliceosome.  (+info)

(7/12422) Photocrosslinking of 4-thio uracil-containing RNAs supports a side-by-side arrangement of domains 5 and 6 of a group II intron.

Previous studies suggested that domains 5 and 6 (D5 and D6) of group II introns act together in splicing and that the two helical structures probably do not interact by helix stacking. Here, we characterized the major Mg2+ ion- and salt-dependent, long-wave UV light-induced, intramolecular crosslinks formed in 4-thiouridine-containing D56 RNA from intron 5gamma (aI5gamma) of the COXI gene of yeast mtDNA. Four major crosslinks were mapped and found to result from covalent bonds between nucleotides separating D5 from D6 [called J(56)] and residues of D6 near and including the branch nucleotide. These findings are extended by results of similar experiments using 4-thioU containing D56 RNAs from a mutant allele of aI5gamma and from the group IIA intron, aI1. Trans-splicing experiments show that the crosslinked wild-type aI5gamma D56 RNAs are active for both splicing reactions, including some first-step branching. An RNA containing the 3-nt J(56) sequence and D6 of aI5gamma yields one main crosslink that is identical to the most minor of the crosslinks obtained with D56 RNA, but in this case in a cation-independent fashion. We conclude that the interaction between J(56) and D6 is influenced by charge repulsion between the D5 and D6 helix backbones and that high concentrations of cations allow the helices to approach closely under self-splicing conditions. The interaction between J(56) and D6 appears to be a significant factor establishing a side-by-side (i.e., not stacked) orientation of the helices of the two domains.  (+info)

(8/12422) UV irradiation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in ices: production of alcohols, quinones, and ethers.

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in water ice were exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation under astrophysical conditions, and the products were analyzed by infrared spectroscopy and mass spectrometry. Peripheral carbon atoms were oxidized, producing aromatic alcohols, ketones, and ethers, and reduced, producing partially hydrogenated aromatic hydrocarbons, molecules that account for the interstellar 3.4-micrometer emission feature. These classes of compounds are all present in carbonaceous meteorites. Hydrogen and deuterium atoms exchange readily between the PAHs and the ice, which may explain the deuterium enrichments found in certain meteoritic molecules. This work has important implications for extraterrestrial organics in biogenesis.  (+info)