Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Life Sciences

Kinds of U0126

  • inhibitor u0126
  • mek inhibitor u0126

  • Selected Abstracts

    Basolateral amygdala inactivation by muscimol, but not ERK/MAPK inhibition, impairs the use of reward expectancies during working memory

    Lisa M. Savage
    Abstract Rats were trained on a delayed matching to position (DMTP) task that embedded either a differential outcomes procedure (DOP) or a non-differential outcomes procedure (NOP). The DOP, via Pavlovian conditioning (stimulus,outcome associations), results in the use of unique reward expectancies that facilitate learning and memory performance above subjects trained with a NOP that requires subjects to retain cue information for accurate choice behavior (stimulus,response associations). This enhancement in learning and/or memory produced by the DOP is called the differential outcomes effect (DOE). After being trained on the DMTP task, rats were implanted with two cannulae aimed at the basolateral amygdala (BLA) nuclei. Rats trained with the DOP, relative to those trained with the NOP, displayed enhanced short-term memory (STM) performance under vehicle conditions (i.e. the DOE). However, injections of the ,-aminobutyric acid (GABA)A agonist muscimol into the BLA dose-dependently (0.0625 and 0.125 g) impaired STM performance only in DOP-trained rats. These results support the role of the BLA in the use of established reward expectancies during a short-term working memory task. Despite the fact that extracellular signal-regulated kinase/mitogen-activated protein kinases (ERK/MAPK) have been shown to be necessary for amygdala-dependent long-term potentiation and some forms of long-term and STM, inhibition of the ERK/MAPK signaling cascade by U0126 (2.0 or 4.0 g) in the BLA was not critical for updating the STM of either spatial information or reward expectation. [source]

    Mechanism of insulin-like growth factor I-mediated proliferation of adult neural progenitor cells: role of Akt

    Haviryaji S. G. Kalluri
    Abstract Insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) is involved in the proliferation and differentiation of adult neural progenitor cells; however, the underlying mechanism is not clear. We analysed the involvement of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt and MEK/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) pathways in the IGF-I-mediated proliferation of rat neural progenitor cells. Stimulation of neural progenitor cells with IGF-I enhanced the phosphorylation of Akt but not ERK. Cell proliferation assay demonstrated that 2-(4-morpholinyl)-8-phenyl-4H-1-benzopyran-4-one (phosphoinositide 3-kinase inhibitor) but not 1,4-diamino-2,3-dicyano-1,4-bis(2-aminophenylthio)-butadiene (U0126) (ERK inhibitor) inhibited the IGF-I-induced survival of cells, whereas fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF-2) enhanced the IGF-I-mediated survival of cells. Consistent with the cell proliferation assay, 5,bromo-2-deoxy-uridine incorporation studies established a negative role for IGF-I in proliferation. However, FGF-2 (ERK activator) in the presence of IGF-I (Akt activator) increased the proliferation of cells. Accordingly, stimulation of the ERK pathway by FGF-2 induced the expression of cyclin D1, which is essential for the entry of cells into cell cycle, and IGF-I in the presence of FGF-2 up-regulated the expression of cyclin D1. IGF-I in the absence or presence of FGF-2 increased the phosphorylation of glycogen synthase kinase, thus supporting its role in the survival of neural progenitor cells. To further confirm the role of ERK activation in the proliferation, we cultured cells in FGF-2 + IGF-I-containing medium in the presence and absence of U0126 (ERK inhibitor), and showed the inhibition of nestin expression in U0126-treated cells. The decrease in the cyclin D1 content in conjunction with the inhibition of nestin expression by ERK inhibitor confirms the role of ERK in the proliferation of cells. [source]

    Terrein inhibits keratinocyte proliferation via ERK inactivation and G2/Mcell cycle arrest

    Dong-Seok Kim
    Abstract:, Terrein, a fungal metabolite, has been recently shown to have a strong antiproliferative effect on skin equivalents. In the present study, we further investigated the effects of terrein on the possible signalling pathways involved in the growth inhibition of human epidermal keratinocytes by examining the regulations of extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (ERK) and of the Akt pathway by terrein. It was observed that ERK was inactivated by terrein and that keratinocyte proliferation was inhibited, whereas Akt was unaffected. The inhibition of the ERK pathway by U0126 (a specific ERK inhibitor) also had a dose-dependent antiproliferative effect on human keratinocytes. These results indicate that ERK inhibition is involved in keratinocyte growth inhibition by terrein. Moreover, flow cytometric analysis showed that terrein inhibits DNA synthesis, as evidenced by a reduction in the S phase and an increase in the G2/M phase of the cell cycle. Thus, we next examined changes in the expressions of G2/M cell cycle-related proteins. Terrein was found to downregulate cyclin B1 and Cdc2 without Cdc2 phosphorylation, but upregulated p27KIP1 (p27), a known inhibitor of cyclin-dependent kinase. These results suggest that terrein reduces human keratinocyte proliferation by inhibiting ERK and by decreasing the expressions of cyclin B1 and Cdc2 complex. [source]

    Acute activation of Erk1/Erk2 and protein kinase B/akt proceed by independent pathways in multiple cell types

    FEBS JOURNAL, Issue 17 2005
    Doris Chiu
    We used two inhibitors of the signaling enzyme phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PtdIns3K), wortmannin and LY294002, to evaluate the potential involvement of PtdIns3K in the activation of the MAP kinases (MAPK), Erk1 and Erk2. In dose,response studies carried out on six different cell lines and a primary cell culture, we analyzed the ability of the inhibitors to block phosphorylation of protein kinase B/akt (PKB/akt) at Ser473 as a measure of PtdIns3K activity, or the phosphorylation of Erk1/2 at activating Thr/Tyr sites as a measure of the extent of activation of MAPK/Erk kinase (MEK/Erk). In three different hemopoietic cell lines stimulated with cytokines, and in HEK293 cells, stimulated with serum, either wortmannin or LY294002, but never both, could partially block phosphorylation of Erks. The same observations were made in a B-cell line and in primary fibroblasts. In only one cell type, the A20 B cells, was there a closer correlation between the PtdIns3K inhibition by both inhibitors, and their corresponding effects on Erk phosphorylation. However, this stands out as an exception that gives clues to the mechanism by which cross-talk might occur. In all other cells, acute activation of the pathway leading to Erk phosphorylation could proceed independently of PtdIns3K activation. In a biological assay comparing these two pathways, the ability of LY294002 and the MEK inhibitor, U0126, to induce apoptosis were tested. Whereas LY294002 caused death of cytokine-dependent hemopoietic cells, U0126 had little effect, but both inhibitors together had a synergistic effect. The data show that these two pathways are regulating very different downstream events involved in cell survival. [source]

    7-Ketocholesterol-induced apoptosis

    FEBS JOURNAL, Issue 12 2005
    Involvement of several pro-apoptotic but also anti-apoptotic calcium-dependent transduction pathways
    Oxysterols, and particularly 7-ketocholesterol, appear to be strongly involved in the physiopathology of atherosclerosis. These molecules are suspected to be cytotoxic to the cells of the vascular wall and monocytes/macrophages, particularly by inducing apoptosis. Previous studies have demonstrated that 7-ketocholesterol-induced apoptosis is triggered by a sustained increase of cytosolic-free Ca2+, which elicits the mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis by activation of the calcium-dependent phosphatase calcineurin, leading to dephosphorylation of the ,BH3 only' protein BAD. However, thorough study of the results suggests that other pathways are implicated in 7-ketocholesterol-induced cytotoxicity. In this study, we demonstrate the involvement of two other calcium-dependent pathways during 7-ketocholesterol-induced apoptosis. The activation of the MEK,ERK pathway by the calcium-dependent tyrosine kinase PYK 2, a survival pathway which delays apoptosis as shown by the use of the MEK inhibitor U0126, and a pathway involving another pro-apoptotic BH3 only protein, Bim. Indeed, 7-ketocholesterol treatment of human monocytic THP-1 cells induces the release of Bim-LC8 from the microtubule-associated dynein motor complex, and its association with Bcl-2. Therefore, it appears that 7-ketocholesterol-induced apoptosis is a complex phenomenon resulting from calcium-dependent activation of several pro-apoptotic pathways and also one survival pathway. [source]

    Suppression of urokinase receptor expression by bikunin is associated with inhibition of upstream targets of extracellular signal-regulated kinase-dependent cascade

    FEBS JOURNAL, Issue 16 2002
    Hiroshi Kobayashi
    Our laboratory showed that bikunin, a Kunitz-type protease inhibitor, suppresses 4,-phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA)- or tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF,)-induced urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) expression in different cell types. In addition to its effects on protease inhibition, bikunin could be modulating other cellular events associated with the metastatic cascade. To test this hypothesis, we examined whether bikunin was able to suppress the expression of uPA receptor (uPAR) mRNA and protein in a human chondrosarcoma cell line, HCS-2/8, and two human ovarian cancer cell lines, HOC-I and HRA. The present study showed that (a) bikunin suppresses the expression of constitutive and PMA-induced uPAR mRNA and protein in a variety of cell types; (b) an extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) activation system is necessary for the PMA-induced increase in uPAR expression, as PD098059 and U0126, which prevent the activation of MEK1, reduce the uPAR expression; (c) bikunin markedly suppresses PMA-induced phosphorylation of ERK1/2 at the concentration that prevents uPAR expression, but does not reduce total ERK1/2 antigen level; (d) bikunin has no ability to inhibit overexpression of uPAR in cells treated with sodium vanadate; and (e) we further studied the inhibition of uPAR expression by stable transfection of HRA cells with bikunin gene, demonstrating that bikunin secretion is necessary for inhibition of uPAR expression. We conclude that bikunin downregulates constitutive and PMA-stimulated uPAR mRNA and protein possibly through suppression of upstream targets of the ERK-dependent cascade, independent of whether cells were treated with exogenous bikunin or transfected with bikunin gene. [source]

    Mitogen-activated protein kinases regulate Mycobacterium avium -induced tumor necrosis factor-, release from macrophages

    Asima Bhattacharyya
    Abstract Tumor necrosis factor-, (TNF-,) is one of the key cytokines elicited by host macrophages upon challenge with pathogenic mycobacteria. Infection of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells or the murine macrophage cell line J774A,1 with Mycobacterium avium induced activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) ERK1/2, p38 and c-Jun N-terminal kinase. U0126, an MEK-specific inhibitor, abrogated M. avium -induced TNF-, secretion. Transfection of cells with dominant-negative MEK1 led to the suppression of TNF-, release in M. avium -challenged macrophages. M. avium activated p38 MAPK and use of the p38 MAPK inhibitor, SB203580, revealed that the p38 signaling pathway negatively regulates activation of ERK1/2 and release of TNF-,. Taken together, these results provide evidence that M. avium -induced TNF-, release from macrophages depends on an interplay between the ERK1/2 and the p38 MAPK signaling pathways. [source]

    Inhibition of angiotensin II- and endothelin-1-stimulated proliferation by selective MEK inhibitor in cultured rabbit gingival fibroblasts,

    Masami Ohsawa
    Abstract We investigated the implication of extracellular signal-regulated protein kinases 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) in the proliferation stimulated by angiotensin II (Ang II) and endothelin-1 (ET-1) in cultured rabbit gingival fibroblasts (CRGF). Ang II stimulated activation of ERK1/2 and the activation was inhibited by CV-11974, an AT1 antagonist, and saralasin, an AT1/AT2 antagonist, but not by PD123,319, an AT2 antagonist in the CRGF. Ang II-stimulated proliferation was inhibited by PD98059 or U0126, selective MEK inhibitors. Furthermore, ET-1 stimulated proliferation via G-protein-coupled ETA receptors, which were identified by Western blot analysis of membrane protein from the CRGF. ET-1 also stimulated activation of ERK1/2 and the activation was inhibited by BQ-123, an ETA inhibitor, and TAK044, an ETA/ETB inhibitor, but not by BQ-788, an ETB inhibitor. ET-1-stimulated proliferation was inhibited by PD98059 or U0126. These findings suggest that ERK1/2 play a role in the signaling process leading to proliferation stimulated by Ang II and ET-1 via G-protein-coupled receptors, AT1 and ETA in CRGF. [source]

    Down-regulation of the PI3-kinase/Akt pathway by ERK MAP kinase in growth factor signaling

    GENES TO CELLS, Issue 9 2008
    Hideko Hayashi
    The ERK MAP kinase and PI3-kinase/Akt pathways are major intracellular signaling modules, which are known to regulate diverse cellular processes including cell proliferation, survival and malignant transformation. However, it has not been fully understood how these two pathways interact with each other. Here, we demonstrate that inhibition of the ERK pathway by the MEK inhibitor U0126 or PD98059 significantly potentiates EGF- and FGF-induced Akt phosphorylation at both Thr308 and Ser473. We also show that hyperactivation of the ERK pathway greatly attenuates EGF- and FGF-induced Akt phosphorylation. Furthermore, the enhanced Akt phosphorylation induced by U0126 is inhibited by the PI3-kinase inhibitor LY294002, and is accompanied by the up-regulation of Ras activity. These results suggest that the ERK pathway inhibition enhances Akt phosphorylation through the Ras/PI3-kinase pathway. Thus, our results demonstrate that the ERK pathway negatively modulates the PI3-kinase/Akt pathway in response to growth factor stimulation. [source]

    Secretion of matrix metalloproteinase-9 by the proinflammatory cytokine, IL-1,: a role for the dual signalling pathways, Akt and Erk

    GENES TO CELLS, Issue 6 2003
    A. R. M. Ruhul Amin
    Background: Matrix metalloproteinases including MMP-9 mediate matrix destruction during chronic inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and atherosclerosis. MMP-9 up-regulation by inflammatory cytokines involve interactions between several transcription factors including activator protein-1 and NF,B. The upstream regulatory pathways are less well understood. Results: To search for the mechanism of tissue destruction in the process of inflammatory disorders, we investigated the signalling pathway critical for the activation of MMP-9 expression and secretion by IL-1,. Treatment of Balb 3T3 cells with IL-1, activated MMP-9 transcription and subsequent secretion in a time- and dose-dependent manner. Concomitantly, IL-1, treatment of cells activated phosphorylation of Akt, Erk and p38. Treatment of cells with either LY294002, a PI3K inhibitor, or expression of a dominant negative form of Akt drastically suppressed the IL-1,-dependent secretion of MMP-9. Pretreatment of cells with a MEK1 inhibitor, U0126, also strongly inhibited IL-1,-dependent secretion of MMP-9. In contrast, pre-treatment with a specific p38 kinase inhibitor, SB203580, had no effect on IL-1,-dependent secretion of MMP-9. In addition, cells expressing constitutively active form of Akt or MEK1 showed no clear activation of MMP-9 secretion, whereas these cells responded well to IL-1, treatment. However, co-transfection of cells with both active Akt and MEK1 was sufficient to induce MMP-9 secretion without stimulation with IL-1,. Conclusion: Taken together, our results suggest that IL-1, stimulation of cells activates MMP-9 secretion by the activation of the dual signalling pathways, the PI3K-Akt and MEK1-Erk and constitutive activation of these pathways were sufficient to induce MMP-9 secretion. [source]

    Activation of dorsal horn microglia contributes to diabetes-induced tactile allodynia via extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase signaling

    GLIA, Issue 4 2008
    Makoto Tsuda
    Abstract Painful neuropathy is one of the most common complications of diabetes, one hallmark of which is tactile allodynia (pain hypersensitivity to innocuous stimulation). The underlying mechanisms of tactile allodynia are, however, poorly understood. Emerging evidence indicates that, following nerve injury, activated microglia in the spinal cord play a crucial role in tactile allodynia. However, it remains unknown whether spinal microglia are activated under diabetic conditions and whether they contribute to diabetes-induced tactile allodynia. In the present study, using streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats that displayed tactile allodynia, we found several morphological changes of activated microglia in the dorsal horn. These included increases in Iba1 and OX-42 labeling (markers of microglia), hypertrophic morphology, the thickness and the retraction of processes, and in the number of activated microglia cells. Furthermore, in the dorsal horn of STZ diabetic rats, extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (ERK) and an upstream kinase, Src-family kinase (SFK), both of which are implicated in microglial functions, were activated exclusively in microglia. Moreover, inhibition of ERK phosphorylation in the dorsal horn by intrathecal administration of U0126, an inhibitor of ERK activation, produced a striking alleviation of existing, long-term tactile allodynia of diabetic rats. We also found that a single administration of U0126 reduced the expression of allodynia. Together, these results suggest that activated dorsal horn microglia may be a crucial component of diabetes-induced tactile allodynia, mediated, in part, by the ERK signaling pathway. Thus, inhibiting microglia activation in the dorsal horn may represent a therapeutic strategy for treating diabetic tactile allodynia. 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    Oncostatin M enhances the expression of prostaglandin E2 and cyclooxygenase-2 in astrocytes: Synergy with interleukin-1,, tumor necrosis factor-,, and bacterial lipopolysaccharide

    GLIA, Issue 4 2003
    Pavle Repovic
    Abstract Oncostatin M (OSM), a cytokine of the interleukin-6 family, is expressed in rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, multiple myeloma, and other inflammatory and neoplastic conditions. Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), an eicosanoid also associated with inflammation and cancer, has recently been shown to induce OSM expression. We report here that OSM in turn induces PGE2 production by astrocytes and astroglioma cells. More importantly, in combination with the inflammatory mediators IL-1,, tumor necrosis factor-,, and lipopolysaccharide, OSM exhibits a striking synergy, resulting in up to 50-fold higher PGE2 production by astrocytes, astroglioma, and neuroblastoma cell lines. Enhanced PGE2 production by OSM and IL-1, treatment is explained by their effect on cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), an enzyme that catalyzes the committed step in PGE2 synthesis. Of the enzymes involved in PGE2 biosynthesis, only COX-2 mRNA and protein levels are synergistically amplified by OSM and IL-1,. Nuclear run-on assays demonstrate that OSM and IL-1, synergistically upregulate transcription of the COX-2 gene, and the mRNA stability assay indicates that COX-2 mRNA is posttranscriptionally stabilized by OSM and IL-1,. To effect synergy on the PGE2 level, OSM signals in part through its gp130/OSMR, receptor, since neutralizing antibodies against gp130 and OSMR,, but not LIFR,, decrease PGE2 production in response to OSM plus IL-1,. SB202190 and U0126, inhibitors of p38 MAPK and ERK1/2 activation, respectively, inhibit IL-1, and OSM upregulation of COX-2 and PGE2, indicating that these MAPK cascades are utilized by both stimuli. This mechanism of PGE2 amplification may be active in brain pathologies where both OSM and IL-1, are present, such as glioblastomas and multiple sclerosis. GLIA 42:433,446, 2003. 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    Prostaglandin F2, stimulates MEK-ERK signalling but decreases the expression of alkaline phosphatase in dental pulp cells

    M. C. Chang
    Chang MC, Chen YJ, Lee MY, Lin LD, Wang TM, Chan CP, Tsai YL, Wang CY, Lin BR, Jeng JH. Prostaglandin F2, stimulates MEK-ERK signalling but decreases the expression of alkaline phosphatase in dental pulp cells. International Endodontic Journal, 43, 461,468, 2010. Abstract Aim, To study prostaglandin F2, (PGF2,) receptor expression and downstream signalling in cultured human dental pulp cells and the effect of PGF2, on the alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity of dental pulp cells. Methodology, Human dental pulp cells were cultured and exposed to PGF2,. The expression of PGF2, (FP) receptors was analysed by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and Western blotting. The activation of extracellular regulated kinase (ERK) and cAMP responsive element binding protein/activating transcription factor-1 (CREB/ATF-1) signalling was determined by Western blotting. The expression of ALP in pulp cells after exposure to PGF2, was evaluated by ALP staining and PCR. Results, Dental pulp cells expressed FP receptor mRNA and protein. Exposure to PGF2, revealed little cytotoxicity to pulp cells. PGF2, induced both ERK and CREB/ATF-1 phosphorylation in pulp cells. Exposure to PGF2, (>1 ,mol L,1) further decreased the ALP activity and mRNA expression. However, U0126 (an inhibitor of MEK1) showed little preventive effect on the decline of ALP activity in dental pulp cells by PGF2,. Conclusion, PGF2, may potentially activate FP receptors leading to ERK/CREB-ATF-1 activation during its production in inflamed dental pulp. PGF2, attenuated the ALP activity of pulp cells possibly via pathways not solely by MEK/ERK activation. PGF2, is a contributing factor of pulpal inflammation by regulating the activities of pulp cells. [source]

    Examination of the signal transduction pathways leading to upregulation of tissue type plasminogen activator by Porphyromonas endodontalis in human pulp cells

    F.-M. Huang
    Abstract Aim, To investigate the tissue type plasminogen activator (t-PA) activity in human pulp cells stimulated with Porphyromonas endodontalis (P. endodontalis) in the absence or presence of p38 inhibitor SB203580, mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK) inhibitor U0126 and phosphatidylinositaol 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor LY294002. Methodology, The supernatants of P. endodontalis were used to evaluate t-PA activity in human pulp cells using casein zymography and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Furthermore, to search for possible signal transduction pathways, SB203580, U0126 and LY294002 were added to test how they modulated the t-PA activity. Results, The main casein secreted by human pulp cells migrated at 70 kDa and represented t-PA. Secretion of t-PA was found to be stimulated with P. endodontalis during 2-day cultured period (P < 0.05). From the results of casein zymography and ELISA, SB203580 and U0126 significantly reduced the P. endodontalis stimulated t-PA production respectively (P < 0.05). However, LY294002 lacked the ability to change the P. endodontalis stimulated t-PA production (P > 0.05). Conclusions,Porphyromonas endodontalis enhances t-PA production in human pulp cells, and the signal transduction pathways p38 and MEK are involved in the inhibition of t-PA. [source]

    Signalling responses linked to betulinic acid-induced apoptosis are antagonized by MEK inhibitor U0126 in adherent or 3D spheroid melanoma irrespective of p53 status

    Manuel Rieber
    Abstract MEK1/2 inhibitors like U0126 can potentiate or antagonize the antitumor activity of cytotoxic agents such as cisplatin, paclitaxel or vinblastine, depending on the drug or the target cells. We now investigated whether U0126, differentially regulates melanoma signaling in response to UV radiation or betulinic acid, a drug lethal against melanoma. This report shows that U0126 inhibits early response (ERK) kinase activation and cyclin A expression in wt p53 C8161 melanoma exposed to either UV radiation or betulinic acid. However, U0126 does not protect from UV damage, but counteracts betulinic acid-mediated apoptosis in the same cells. Protection from the latter drug by joint treatment with U0126 was also evident in wt p53 MelJuso melanoma and mutant p53 WM164 melanoma. The latter cells were the most responsive to betulinic acid, showing a selective decline in the cdk4 protein, without a comparable change in other key cell cycle proteins like cdc2, cdk2, cdk7 or cyclin A, prior to apoptosis-associated PARP fragmentation. Laser scanning cytometry also showed that betulinic acid induced a significant increase in chromatin condensation in WM164 melanoma irrespective of whether they were in adherent form or as multicellular spheroids. All these betulinic acid-induced changes were counteracted by U0126. Our data show for the first time that (a) cdk4 protein is an early target of betulinic acid-induced apoptosis and (b) unrestricted ERK signaling favours betulinic acid-induced apoptosis, but this is counteracted by U0126, partly through counteracting chromatin condensation and restoring Akt activation decreased by betulinic acid treatment. 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    Enhanced cytotoxicity induced by gefitinib and specific inhibitors of the Ras or phosphatidyl inositol-3 kinase pathways in non-small cell lung cancer cells

    Maarten L. Janmaat
    Abstract In this study, we have characterized a panel of NSCLC cell lines with differential sensitivity to gefitinib for activating mutations in egfr, pik3ca, and k-ras, and basal protein expression levels of PTEN. The egfr mutant NSCLC cell line H1650 as well as the egfr wild type cell lines H292 and A431 were highly sensitive to gefitinib treatment, indicating that other factors determine gefitinib-sensitivity in egfr wild type cells. Activating k-ras mutations were specifically detected in gefitinib-resistant cells, suggesting that the occurrence of k-ras mutations is correlated with resistance to EGFR antagonists. No pik3ca mutations were detected within the panel of cell lines, and PTEN protein expression levels did not correlate with gefitinib sensitivity. Gefitinib effectively blocked Akt and Erk phosphorylation in two gefitinib-sensitive NSCLC cell lines, further supporting our previous findings that persistent activity of the PI3K/Akt and/or Ras/Erk pathways is associated with gefitinib-resistance of NSCLC cell lines. Gefitinib-resistant NSCLC cell lines, showing EGFR-independent activity of the PI3K/Akt or Ras/Erk pathways, were treated with gefitinib in combination with specific inhibitors of mTOR, P13K, Ras, and MEK. Additive cytotoxicity was observed in A549 cells co-treated with gefitinib and the MEK inhibitor U0126 or the farnesyl transferase inhibitor SCH66336 and in H460 cells treated with gefitinib and the PI3K inhibitor LY294002, but not in H460 cells treated with gefitinib and rapamycin. These data suggest that combination treatment of NSCLC cells with gefitinib and specific inhibitors of the PI3K/Akt and Ras/Erk pathways may provide a successful strategy. 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    ERK inhibitor PD98059 enhances docetaxel-induced apoptosis of androgen-independent human prostate cancer cells

    Stanislav Zelivianski
    Abstract Anticancer drugs docetaxel and vinorelbine suppress cell growth by altering microtubule assembly and activating the proapoptotic signal pathway. Vinorelbine and docetaxel have been approved for treating several advanced cancers. However, their efficacy in the management of advanced hormone-refractory prostate cancer remains to be clarified. Microtubule damage by some anticancer drugs can activate the ERK survival pathway, which conversely compromises chemotherapeutic efficacy. We analyzed the effect of ERK inhibitors PD98059 and U0126 on vinorelbine- and docetaxel-induced cell growth suppression of androgen-independent prostate cancer cells. In androgen-independent C-81 LNCaP cells, inhibition of ERK by PD98059, but not U0126, plus docetaxel resulted in enhanced growth suppression by an additional 20% compared to the sum of each agent alone (p < 0.02). The combination treatment of docetaxel plus PD98059 also increased cellular apoptosis, which was in part due to the inactivation of Bcl-2 by increasing phosphorylated Bcl-2 by more than 6-fold and Bax expression by 3-fold over each agent alone. At these dosages, docetaxel alone caused only marginal phosphorylation of Bcl-2 (10%). Docetaxel plus U0126 had only 20% added effect on Bcl-2 phosphorylation compared to docetaxel alone. Nevertheless, both U0126 and PD98059 exhibited an enhanced effect on docetaxel-induced growth suppression in PC-3 cells. No enhanced effect was observed for vinorelbine plus PD98059 or U0126. Thus, the combination therapy of docetaxel plus PD98059 may represent a new anticancer strategy, requiring lower drug dosages compared to docetaxel monotherapy. This may lower the cytotoxicity and enhance tumor suppression in vivo. This finding of a combination effect could be of potential clinical importance in treating hormone-refractory prostate cancer. 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    Adrenomedullin regulates expressions of transforming growth factor-,1 and ,1-induced matrix metalloproteinase-2 in hepatic stellate cells

    Yi Wang
    Summary Adrenomedullin (AM), a peptide isolated from human pheochromocytoma, can be produced and secreted by various types of cells including hepatic stellate cells (HSCs), and its possible role in HSCs is not clear now. In the present study, the interactive regulation between transforming growth factor (TGF)-,1 and AM and the effect of AM on TGF-,1-induced matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 expression in HSCs were investigated. TGF-,1 and AM inhibited gene transcript level mutually (real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction). AM suppressed the protein expression level of TGF-,1 (Western blot), but TGF-,1 might have no effect on AM secretion level. MMP-2 protein expression in HSCs was increased in response to TGF-,1, and upregulation of MMP-2 expression stimulated with TGF-,1 was suppressed by AM in dose-dependent manner (Western blot). AM decreased the phosphorylation level of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) in HSCs treated with TGF-,1, and TGF-,1-induced MMP-2 expression was suppressed by adding Mitogen-activated protein Kinase/ERK (MEK) inhibitor U0126 (Western blot). Our results suggest that AM may intervene the activation of HSCs by inhibiting TGF-,1 production and TGF-,1-induced MMP-2 expression; AM may suppress the upregulation of MMP-2 expression induced by TGF-,1 partially through ERK pathway. [source]

    PTHrP Signaling Targets Cyclin D1 and Induces Osteoblastic Cell Growth Arrest,

    Nabanita S Datta PhD
    Abstract PTHrP control of the MC3T3-E1 cell cycle machinery showed that, during differentiation, PTHrP induced G1 growth arrest. Cyclin D1 was a critical mediator as a downstream effector of cAMP, PKC, and MAPK signaling, and the process was PKA-independent. The involvement of JunB has been found critical for PTHrP effects. Introduction: PTH-related protein (PTHrP) has been implicated in the control of bone cell turnover, but the mechanisms underlying its effect on osteoblast proliferation and differentiation have not been clearly defined. The mechanisms by which PTHrP impacts cell cycle proteins and the role of signaling pathways in differentiated osteoblasts were studied. Materials and Methods: To elucidate the role of PTHrP, flow cytometric analyses were performed using MC3T3-E1 and primary mouse calvarial cells. Relative protein abundance (Western blot), physical association of partners (immunoprecipitation), and kinase activities (in vitro kinase assays using either GST-Rb or H1-histone as substrates) of cell cycle-associated proteins in vehicle and PTHrP-treated 7-day differentiated cells were determined. ELISA and/or Northern blot analyses were done to evaluate JunB and cyclin D1 expression. SiRNA-mediated gene silencing experiments were performed to silence JunB protein. Finally, inhibitors of cAMP, protein kinase A (PKA), protein kinase C (PKC), and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) were used to determine involvement of different signaling pathways. Results: PTHrP inhibited cyclin D1 protein expression 7-fold in a dose- and time-dependent manner and increased the level of p16 protein in differentiated osteoblasts. Additionally, PTHrP reduced cyclin D1-CDK4/CDK6 and CDK1 kinase activities. Forskolin, a cAMP agonist, mimicked PTHrP action, and the PKC inhibitor, GF109203X, slightly blocked downregulation of cyclin D1, implying involvement of both cAMP and PKC. U0126, a MAPK inhibitor, alone decreased cyclin D1 protein, suggesting that the basal cyclin D1 protein is MAPK dependent. H-89, a PKA inhibitor, did not alter the effect of PTHrP on cyclin D1, suggesting a PKA-independent mechanism. Finally, expression of JunB, an activating protein-1 transcription factor, was significantly upregulated, and silencing JunB (siRNA) partially reversed the cyclin D1 response, implying involvement of JunB in the PTHrP-mediated growth arrest of MC3T3-E1 cells. Conclusion: PTHrP upregulates JunB and reduces cyclin D1 expression while inducing G1 cell cycle arrest in differentiated osteoblasts. Such regulation could be an important determinant of the life span and bone-forming activity of osteoblasts. [source]

    Activation and induction of cytosolic phospholipase A2 by IL-1, in human tracheal smooth muscle cells: Role of MAPKs/p300 and NF-,B

    Chiang-Wen Lee
    Abstract Cytosolic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2) plays a pivotal role in mediating agonist-induced arachidonic acid (AA) release for prostaglandin (PG) synthesis during inflammation triggered by IL-1,. However, the mechanisms underlying IL-1,-induced cPLA2 expression and PGE2 synthesis in human tracheal smooth muscle cells (HTSMCs) remain unknown. IL-1,-induced cPLA2 protein and mRNA expression, PGE2 production, or phosphorylation of p42/p44 MAPK, p38 MAPK, and JNK1/2, which was attenuated by pretreatment with the inhibitors of MEK1/2 (U0126), p38 MAPK (SB202190), and JNK1/2 (SP600125) or transfection with siRNAs of MEK1, p42, p38, and JNK2. IL-1,-induced cPLA2 expression was also inhibited by pretreatment with a NF-,B inhibitor, helenalin or transfection with siRNA of NIK, IKK,, or IKK,. IL-,-induced NF-,B translocation was blocked by pretreatment with helenalin, but not U0126, SB202190, and SP600125. In addition, transfection with p300 siRNA blocked cPLA2 expression induced by IL-1,. Moreover, p300 was associated with the cPLA2 promoter, which was dynamically linked to histone H4 acetylation stimulated by IL-1,. These results suggest that in HTSMCs, activation of MAPKs, NF-,B, and p300 are essential for IL-1,-induced cPLA2 expression and PGE2 secretion. J. Cell. Biochem. 109: 1045,1056, 2010. 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    Mechanisms of inhibition of dehydroepiandrosterone upon corticosterone release from rat zona fasciculata-reticularis cells,

    Ling-Ling Chang
    Abstract We have demonstrated that dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) acts directly on rat zona fasciculata-reticularis (ZFR) cells to diminish corticosterone secretion by an inhibition of post-cAMP pathway, and decreases functions of steroidogenic enzymes after P450scc as well as steroidogenic acute regulatory (StAR) protein expression. However, the mechanisms by which DHEA engages with environmental messenger signals which translate into interfering StAR protein expression are still unclear. This study explored the effects of DHEA on the phosphorylation/activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERKs). ERK activation resulted in enhancing phosphorylation of steroidogenic factor-1 (SF-1) and increased StAR protein expression. ZFR cells were incubated in the presence or absence of adrenocorticotropin (ACTH), forskolin (FSK), 25-OH-cholesterol, U0126, and H89 at 37C. The concentration of corticosterone released into the media was measured by radioimmunoassay (RIA). The cells were used to extract protein for Western blot analysis of ERKs or StAR protein expression or immunoprecipitation of SF-1 analysis. The results suggested that (1) ERK pathway of rat ZFR cells might be PKA dependent, (2) ERK activity was required for SF-1 phosphorylation to upregulate steroidogenesis in rat ZFR cells, and (3) DHEA did not affect ERK phosphorylation, however, it attenuated forskolin-stimulated SF-1 phosphorylation to affect StAR protein expression. J. Cell. Biochem. 104: 359,368, 2008. 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    Lysophosphatidic acid in malignant ascites stimulates migration of human mesenchymal stem cells

    Mi Jeong Lee
    Abstract Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) is elevated in ascites of ovarian cancer patients and is involved in growth and invasion of ovarian cancer cells. Accumulating evidence suggests a pivotal role of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) or stromal cells in tumorigenesis. In the present study, we demonstrated that ascites from ovarian cancer patients and LPA increased migration of human MSCs. The migration of MSCs induced by LPA and malignant ascites was completely abrogated by pretreatment with Ki16425, an antagonist of LPA receptors, and by silencing of endogenous LPA1, but not LPA2, with small interference RNA, suggesting a key role of LPA played in the malignant ascites-induced migration. LPA induced activation of ERK through pertussis toxin-sensitive manner, and pretreatment of MSCs with U0126, a MEK inhibitor, or pertussis toxin attenuated the LPA-induced migration. Moreover, LPA induced activation of RhoA in MSCs, and pretreatment of the cells with Y27632, a Rho kinase inhibitor, markedly inhibited the LPA-induced migration. In addition, LPA and malignant ascites increased intracellular concentration of calcium in MSCs, and Ki16425 completely inhibited the elevation of intracellular calcium. These results suggest that LPA is a crucial component of the malignant ascites which induce the migration of MSCs and elevation of intracellular calcium. J. Cell. Biochem. 104: 499,510, 2008. 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    ERK 1/2 signaling pathway is involved in nicotine-mediated neuroprotection in spinal cord neurons

    Michal Toborek
    Abstract Evidence indicates that agonists of neuronal nicotinic receptors (nAChRs), including nicotine, can induce neuroprotective and anti-apoptotic effects in the CNS. To study these mechanisms, the present study focused on nicotine-mediated modulation of the extracellular regulated kinase 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) pathway in cultured spinal cord neurons. Exposure to nicotine (0.1,10 M) for as short as 1 min markedly upregulated levels of phosphorylated ERK1/2 (pERK1/2) and increased total ERK1/2 activity. Inhibition studies with mecamylamine and ,-bungarotoxin revealed that these effects were mediated by the ,7 nicotinic receptor. In addition, pre-exposure to U0126, a specific inhibitor of the ERK1/2 signaling, prevented nicotine-mediated anti-apoptotic effects. To indicate if treatment with nicotine also can activate ERK1/2 in vivo, a moderate spinal cord injury (SCI) was induced in rats using a weight-drop device and nicotine was injected 2 h post-trauma. Consistent with in vitro data, nicotine increased levels of pERK1/2 in this animal model of spinal cord trauma. Results of the present study indicate that the ERK1/2 pathway is involved in anti-apoptotic effects of nicotine in spinal cord neurons and may be involved in therapeutic effects of nicotine in spinal cord trauma. J. Cell. Biochem. 100: 279,292, 2007. 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    Differential regulation of platelet-derived growth factor stimulated migration and proliferation in osteoblastic cells,

    Meenal Mehrotra
    Abstract Osteoblastic migration and proliferation in response to growth factors are essential for skeletal development, bone remodeling, and fracture repair, as well as pathologic processes, such as metastasis. We studied migration in response to platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF, 10 ng/ml) in a wounding model. PDGF stimulated a twofold increase in migration of osteoblastic MC3T3-E1 cells and murine calvarial osteoblasts over 24,48 h. PDGF also stimulated a tenfold increase in 3H-thymidine (3H-TdR) incorporation in MC3T3-E1 cells. Migration and DNA replication, as measured by BrdU incorporation, could be stimulated in the same cell. Blocking DNA replication with aphidicolin did not reduce the distance migrated. To examine the role of mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases in migration and proliferation, we used specific inhibitors of p38 MAP kinase, extracellular signal regulated kinase (ERK), and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK). For these signaling studies, proliferation was measured by carboxyfluorescein diacetate succinimidyl ester (CFSE) using flow cytometry. Inhibition of the p38 MAP kinase pathway by SB203580 and SB202190 blocked PDGF-stimulated migration but had no effect on proliferation. Inhibition of the ERK pathway by PD98059 and U0126 inhibited proliferation but did not inhibit migration. Inhibition of JNK activity by SP600125 inhibited both migration and proliferation. Hence, the stimulation of migration and proliferation by PDGF occurred by both overlapping and independent pathways. The JNK pathway was involved in both migration and proliferation, whereas the p38 pathway was predominantly involved in migration and the ERK pathway predominantly involved in proliferation. 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    TNF-, induction of lipolysis is mediated through activation of the extracellular signal related kinase pathway in 3T3-L1 adipocytes,,

    Sandra C. Souza
    Abstract Tumor necrosis factor-, (TNF-,) increases adipocyte lipolysis after 6,12 h of incubation. TNF-, has been demonstrated to activate mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases including extracellular signal-related kinase (ERK) and N-terminal-c-Jun-kinase (JNK) in different cell types. To determine if the MAP kinases have a role in TNF-,-induced lipolysis, 3T3-L1 adipocytes were treated with the cytokine (10 ng/ml), in the presence or absence of PD98059 or U0126 (100 M), specific inhibitors of ERK activity. We demonstrated that U0126 or PD98059 blocked TNF-,-induced ERK activity and decreased TNF-,-induced lipolysis by 65 or 76% respectively. The peroxisome-proliferator-activated receptor , (PPAR,) agonists, rosiglitazone (ros), and 15-deoxy-,- 12,14 - prostaglandin J2 (PGJ2) have been demonstrated to block TNF-,-induced lipolysis. Pretreatment of adipocytes with these agents almost totally blocked TNF-,-induced ERK activation and reduced lipolysis by greater than 90%. TNF-, also stimulated JNK activity, which was not affected by PD98059 or PPAR, agonist treatment. The expression of perilipin, previously proposed to contribute to the mechanism of lipolysis, is diminished in response to TNF-, treatment. Pretreatment of adipocytes with PD98059 or ros significantly blocked the TNF-,-induced reduction of perilipin A protein level as determined by Western analysis. These data suggest that activation of the ERK pathway is an early event in the mechanism of TNF-,-induced lipolysis. 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    Osterix is a key target for mechanical signals in human thoracic ligament flavum cells

    Dongwei Fan
    Mechanical stress is considered to be an important factor in the progression of thoracic ossification of the ligament flavum (TOLF). To elucidate the mechanism underlying mechanical stress-induced TOLF, we investigated the effect of stretching on cultured flavum ligament cells derived from TOLF and non-TOLF patients. We found that the mRNA expression of alkaline phosphatase (ALP), osteocalcin, Runx2, and osterix, but not that of Dlx5 and Msx2, was significantly increased by stretching in TOLF cells. In addition, the effect seems to be finely tuned by stretching-triggered activation of distinct mitogen-activated protein kinase cascades. Specifically, a p38 specific inhibitor, SB203580, significantly inhibited stretching-induced osterix expression as well as ALP activity, whereas a specific inhibitor of ERK1/2, U0126, prevented stretching-induced Runx2 expression. We showed that overexpression of osterix resulted in a significant increase of ALP activity in TOLF cells, and osterix-specific RNAi completely abrogated the stretching-induced ALP activity, indicating that osterix plays a key role in stretching-stimulated osteogenic effect in TOLF cells. These results suggest that mechanical stress plays important roles in the progression of TOLF through induction of osteogenic differentiation of TOLF cells, and our findings support that osterix functions as a molecular link between mechanostressing and osteogenic differentiation. J. Cell. Physiol. 211: 577,584, 2007. 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    Interleukin-1, induces MMP-9 expression via p42/p44 MAPK, p38 MAPK, JNK, and nuclear factor-,B signaling pathways in human tracheal smooth muscle cells

    Kao-Chih Liang
    Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are responsible for degradation of extracellular matrix and play important roles in cell migration, proliferation, and tissue remodeling related to airway inflammation. Interleukin-1, (IL-1,) has been shown to induce MMP-9 production in many cell types and contribute to airway inflammatory responses. However, the mechanisms underlying MMP-9 expression induced by IL-1, in human tracheal smooth muscle cells (HTSMCs) remain unclear. Here, we investigated the roles of p42/p44 MAPK, p38 MAPK, JNK, and NF-,B pathways for IL-1,-induced MMP-9 production in HTSMCs. IL-1, induced production of MMP-9 protein and mRNA in a time- and concentration-dependent manner determined by zymographic, Western blotting, and RT-PCR analyses, which was attenuated by inhibitors of MEK1/2 (U0126), p38 MAPK (SB202190), JNK (SP600125), and NF-,B (helenalin), and transfection with dominant negative mutants of MEK1/2, p38 and JNK, respectively. IL-1,-stimulated phosphorylation of p42/p44 MAPK, p38 MAPK, and JNK was attenuated by pretreatment with U0126, SB202190, SP600125, or transfection with these dominant negative mutants of MEK, ERK, p38 and JNK, respectively. Furthermore, IL-1,-stimulated translocation of NF-,B into the nucleus and degradation of I,B-, was blocked by helenalin. Finally, the reporter gene assay revealed that MAPKs and NF-,B are required for IL-1,-induced MMP-9 luciferase activity in HTSMCs. MMP-9 promoter activity was enhanced by IL-1, in HTSMCs transfected with MMP-9-Luc, which was inhibited by helenalin, U0126, SB202190, and SP600125. Taken together, the transcription factor NF-,B, p42/p44 MAPK, p38 MAPK, and JNK that are involved in MMP-9 expression in HTSMCs exposed to IL-1, have now been identified. J. Cell. Physiol. 211: 759,770, 2007. 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    Apoptosis induced by troglitazone is both peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-,- and ERK-dependent in human non-small lung cancer cells

    Mingyue Li
    The role of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPAR,) in cell differentiation, cell-cycle arrest, and apoptosis has attracted increasing attention. We have recently demonstrated that PPAR, ligands-troglitazone (TGZ) induced apoptosis in lung cancer cells. In this report, we further studied the role of ERK1/2 in lung cancer cells treated by TGZ. The result demonstrated that TGZ induced PPAR, and ERK1/2 accumulation in the nucleus, in which the co-localization of both proteins was found. The activation of ERK1/2 resulted in apoptosis via a mitochondrial pathway. Both PPAR, siRNA and U0126, a specific inhibitor of ERK1/2, were able to block these effects of TGZ, suggesting that apoptosis induced by TGZ was PPAR, and ERK1/2 dependent. Inhibition of ERK1/2 by U0126 also led to a significant decrease in the level of PPAR,, indicating a positive cross-talk between PPAR, and ERK1/2 or an auto-regulatory feedback mechanism to amplify the effect of ERK1/2 on cell growth arrest and apoptosis. In addition to ERK1/2, TGZ also activated Akt. Interestingly, inhibition of ERK1/2 prevented the activation of Akt whereas the suppression of Akt had no effect on ERK1/2, suggesting that Akt was not necessary for TGZ-PPAR,-ERK pathway. However, the inhibition of Akt promoted the release of cytochrome c, suggesting the activation of Akt may have a negative effect on apoptosis induced by TGZ. In conclusion, our study has demonstrated that TGZ, a synthetic PPAR, ligand, induced apoptosis in NCI-H23 lung cancer cells via a mitochondrial pathway and this pathway was PPAR, and ERK1/2 dependent. J. Cell. Physiol. 209: 428,438, 2006. 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    Bradykinin-induced p42/p44 MAPK phosphorylation and cell proliferation via Src, EGF receptors, and PI3-K/Akt in vascular smooth muscle cells

    Chuen-Mao Yang
    In our previous study, bradykinin (BK) exerts its mitogenic effect through Ras/Raf/MEK/MAPK pathway in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). In addition to this pathway, the non-receptor tyrosine kinases (Src), EGF receptor (EGFR), and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-K) have been implicated in linking a variety of G-protein coupled receptors to MAPK cascades. Here, we investigated whether these different mechanisms participating in BK-induced activation of p42/p44 MAPK and cell proliferation in VSMCs. We initially observed that BK- and EGF-dependent activation of Src, EGFR, Akt, and p42/p44 MAPK and [3H]thymidine incorporation were mediated by Src and EGFR, because the Src inhibitor PP1 and EGFR kinase inhibitor AG1478 abrogated BK- and EGF-dependent effects. Inhibition of PI3-K by LY294002 attenuated BK-induced Akt and p42/p44 MAPK phosphorylation and [3H]thymidine incorporation, but had no effect on EGFR phosphorylation, suggesting that EGFR may be an upstream component of PI3-K/Akt and MAPK in these responses. This hypothesis was supported by the tranfection with dominant negative plasmids of p85 and Akt which significantly attenuated BK-induced Akt and p42/p44 MAPK phosphorylation. Pretreatment with U0126 (a MEK1/2 inhibitor) attenuated the p42/p44 MAPK phosphorylation and [3H]thymidine incorporation stimulated by BK, but had no effect on Akt activation. Moreover, BK-induced transactivation of EGFR and cell proliferation was blocked by matrix metalloproteinase inhibitor GM6001. These results suggest that, in VSMCs, the mechanism of BK-stimulated activation of p42/p44 MAPK and cell proliferation was mediated, at least in part, through activation of Src family kinases, EGFR transactivation, and PI3-K/Akt. Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    Inducible expression of a MAP kinase phosphatase-3-GFP chimera specifically blunts fibroblast growth and ras-dependent tumor formation in nude mice,

    S. Marchetti
    The p42/p44 mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway participates in a wide range of cellular programs including proliferation, migration, differentiation, and survival. Specific pharmacological inhibitors, like PD98059 and U0126, are often used to inhibit p42/p44 MAPK signaling. However, these inhibitors are not appropriate to study the function of these kinases in whole organisms. We thus developed an inducible system designed to inhibit p42/p44 MAPK activity through the expression of a phosphatase specific for these two kinases, the MAPK phosphatase 3 (MKP-3). A fibroblast cell line was established in which MKP-3 expression is controlled by tetracycline. Tetracycline-induced MKP-3 resulted in partial de-phosphorylation of p42/p44 MAPKs in serum-stimulated cells. However, we could improve MKP-3 stability and thereby the rate of MAPK de-phosphorylation, when the C-terminal end of MKP-3 was fused to the green fluorescent protein (GFP). Importantly, the fusion of GFP to MKP-3 did not alter the specificity of the phosphatase towards its MAPK substrates. We further show that conditional expression of MKP-3-GFP in this fibroblast cell line results in the inhibition of: (a) the phosphorylation of the p42/p44 MAPK substrates Elk1 and HIF-1,, (b) vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), cyclin D1, and c-fos gene transcription in response to MAPK pathway activation, and (c) cell proliferation. Finally, the MKP-3-GFP inducible cell line was transformed by Ha-ras and injected into nude mice. Treatment of mice with the tetracycline analog doxycycline resulted in a large delay in tumor emergence and growth as compared to the untreated control group, indicating that MKP-3-GFP activity is maintained in vivo. Altogether, these results show that inducible expression of MKP-3-GFP constitutes a valuable tool to study the role of p42/p44 MAPKs in various cellular responses in both cultured cell and animal models, a tool that may also be used to block unwanted cell growth in pathological conditions. 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]