Interferon (IFN)α induces apoptosis via Bak and Bax and the mitochondrial pathway. Here, we investigated the role of known IFNα-induced signaling cascades upstream of Bak activation. By pharmacological and genetic inhibition of the kinases protein kinase C (PKC)δ, extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), and c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) in U266-1984 and RHEK-1 cells, we could demonstrate that all three enzymes are critical for the apoptosis-associated mitochondrial events and apoptotic cell death induced by IFNα, at a step downstream of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). Furthermore, the activation of JNK was found to occur in a PKCδ/ERK-dependent manner. Inhibition of these kinases did not affect the canonical IFNα-stimulated Janus tyrosine kinase-signal transducer and activator of transcription signaling or expression of IFN-responsive genes. Therefore, enucleated cells (cytoplasts) were examined for IFNα-induced apoptosis, to test directly whether this process depends on gene transcription. Cytoplasts were found to undergo apoptosis after IFNα treatment, as analyzed by several apoptosis markers by using flow cytometry, live cell imaging, and biochemical analysis of flow-sorted cytoplasts. Furthermore, inhibition of mTOR, ERK, and JNK blocked IFNα-induced apoptosis in cytoplasts. In conclusion, IFNα-induced apoptosis requires activation of ERK1/2, PKCδ, and JNK downstream of PI3K and mTOR, and it can occur in a nucleus-independent manner, thus demonstrating for the first time that IFNα induces apoptosis in the absence of de novo transcription.
Two ubiquitously expressed isoforms of c-Jun N-terminal protein kinase (JNK), JNK1 and JNK2, have shared functions and different functions. However, the molecular mechanism is unknown. Here we report that JNK1, but not JNK2, is essential for tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α)-induced c-Jun kinase activation, c-Jun expression, and apoptosis. Using mouse fibroblasts deficient in either Jnk1 or Jnk2, we found that JNK1 was activated by TNF-α, whereas JNK2 activation was negligible. In addition, JNK2 interfered with JNK1 activation via its “futile” phosphorylation by upstream kinases. Consequently, expression and activation of c-Jun, which depends on JNK activity, were impaired in Jnk1 null cells but enhanced in Jnk2 null cells. TNF-α-induced apoptosis was also suppressed in Jnk1 null fibroblasts but increased in Jnk2 null cells. Thus, our results provide a molecular mechanism underlying the different biological functions of JNK isoforms.
Activation of the Jun-N-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling cascade by phorbol esters (TPA) or protein kinase C (PKC) is well documented, although the underlying mechanism is not known. Here, we demonstrate that the receptor for activated C kinase 1 (RACK1) serves as an adaptor for PKC-mediated JNK activation. Phosphorylation of JNK by PKC occurs on Ser129 and requires the presence of RACK1. Ser129 phosphorylation augments JNK phosphorylation by MKK4 and/or MKK7 and is required for JNK activation by TPA, TNFα, UV irradiation, and PKC, but not by anisomycin or MEKK1. Inhibition of RACK1 expression by siRNA attenuates JNK activation, sensitizes melanoma cells to UV-induced apoptosis, and reduces their tumorigenicity in nude mice. In finding the role of RACK1 in activation of JNK by PKC, our study also highlights the nature of crosstalk between these two signal-transduction pathways.
Tumour necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) induces apoptosis on binding to its receptors, death receptor 4 and 5 (DR4, DR5). TRAIL can also activate c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) through the adaptor molecules, TNF receptor-associated factor 2 (TRAF2) and receptor-interacting protein (RIP). The role of JNK in TRAIL-induced tumour cell apoptosis is unclear. In this study, we demonstrate that JNK is activated by TRAIL in colon cancer cells. Inhibition of JNK with L-JNKI reduced rhTRAIL-induced cell death but enhanced cell death induced by selective activation of DR4 or DR5. This difference was unrelated to receptor internalisation or differential activation of c-Jun, but activation of different JNK isoforms. Our data demonstrate that JNK1, but not JNK2 is activated by rhTRAIL in the examined colon cancer cell lines. Although rhTRAIL activated both the long and short isoforms of JNK1, selective activation of DR4 or DR5 led to predominant activation of the short JNK1 isoforms (JNK1α1 and/or JNK1β1). Knockdown of JNK1α1 by shRNA enhanced apoptosis induced by TRAIL, agonistic DR4 or DR5 antibodies. On the other hand, knockdown of the long JNK1 isoforms (JNK1α2 and JNK1β2) had the opposite effect; it reduced TRAIL-induced cell death. These data indicate that the short JNK1 isoforms transmit an antiapoptotic signal, whereas the long isoforms (JNK1α2 or JNK1β2) act in a proapoptotic manner.
TRAIL; c-Jun; JNK1α1; colon carcinoma; apoptosis; DR4; DR5
Protein kinase C (PKC)-ε, a component of the serine/threo-nine PKC family, has been shown to influence the survival and differentiation pathways of normal hematopoietic cells. Here, we have modulated the activity of PKC-ε with specific small molecule activator or inhibitor peptides. PKC-ε inhibitor and activator peptides showed modest effects on HL-60 maturation when added alone, but PKC-ε activator peptide significantly counteracted the pro-maturative activity of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α towards the monocytic/macrophagic lineage, as evaluated in terms of CD14 surface expression and morphological analyses. Moreover, while PKC-ε inhibitor peptide showed a reproducible increase of TNF-related apoptosis inducing ligand (TRAIL)-induced apoptosis, PKC-ε activator peptide potently counteracted the pro-apoptotic activity of TRAIL. Taken together, the anti-maturative and anti-apoptotic activities of PKC-ε envision a potentially important proleukemic role of this PKC family member.
acute myeloid leukemia; surface antigens; HL-60 cells; apoptosis; maturation.
Apo2 Ligand or Tumour Necrosis Factor (TNF)-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand (Apo2L/TRAIL) is a member of the TNF gene superfamily that selectively induces apoptosis in tumor cells of diverse origins through engagement of death receptors. We have recently demonstrated that Type I interferons (IFN-α and β) induce apoptosis in multiple myeloma (MM) cell lines and in plasma cells from MM patients. Moreover, Apo2L selectively induces apoptosis of patient MM tumor cells while sparing non-malignant cells. Apo2L induction is one of the earliest events following IFN administration in these cells. IFNs activate Caspases and the mitochondrial-dependent apoptotic pathway mediated by Apo2L production. Cell death induced by IFNs and Apo2L can be blocked by a dominant-negative Apo2L receptor, DR5, and is regulated by members of the Bcl-2 family of proteins. This review is focused on the apoptotic signaling pathways regulated by Apo2L and Bcl-2-family proteins and summarizes what is known about their clinical role.
Multiple myeloma; Apoptosis; Apo2L/TRAIL; Bcl-2 family proteins; Interferon
Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) (Apo2 ligand [Apo2L]) is a member of the TNF superfamily and has been shown to have selective antitumor activity. Although it is known that TRAIL (Apo2L) induces apoptosis and activates NF-κB and Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) through receptors such as TRAIL-R1 (DR4) and TRAIL-R2 (DR5), the components of its signaling cascade have not been well defined. In this report, we demonstrated that the death domain kinase RIP is essential for TRAIL-induced IκB kinase (IKK) and JNK activation. We found that ectopic expression of the dominant negative mutant RIP, RIP(559–671), blocks TRAIL-induced IKK and JNK activation. In the RIP null fibroblasts, TRAIL failed to activate IKK and only partially activated JNK. The endogenous RIP protein was detected by immunoprecipitation in the TRAIL-R1 complex after TRAIL treatment. More importantly, we found that RIP is not involved in TRAIL-induced apoptosis. In addition, we also demonstrated that the TNF receptor-associated factor 2 (TRAF2) plays little role in TRAIL-induced IKK activation although it is required for TRAIL-mediated JNK activation. These results indicated that the death domain kinase RIP, a key factor in TNF signaling, also plays a pivotal role in TRAIL-induced IKK and JNK activation.
The c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNKs) are activated in response to stress, DNA damage, and cytokines by MKK4 and MKK7. We recently demonstrated that PKC can augment the degree of JNK activation by phosphorylating JNK, which requires the adaptor protein RACK1. Here we report on the conditions required for PKC-dependent JNK activation. In vitro kinase assays reveal that PKC phosphorylation of JNK is not sufficient for its activation but rather augments JNK activation by canonical JNK upstream kinases MKK4 or MKK7 alone or in combination. Further, to enhance JNK activity, PKC phosphorylation of JNK should precede its phosphorylation by MKK4/7. Inhibition of PKC phosphorylation of JNK affects both early and late phases of JNK activation following UV-irradiation and reduces the apoptotic response mediated by JNK. These data provide important insight into the requirements for PKC activation of JNK signaling.
JNK; MKK4; MKK7; PKC; RACK1
The proinflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) regulates immune responses, inflammation, and programmed cell death (apoptosis). TNF-α exerts its biological activities by activating multiple signaling pathways, including IκB kinase (IKK), c-Jun N-terminal protein kinase (JNK), and caspases. IKK activation inhibits apoptosis through the transcription factor NF-κB, whose target genes include those that encode inhibitors of both caspases and JNK. Despite activation of the antiapoptotic IKK/NF-κB pathway, TNF-α is able to induce apoptosis in cells sensitive to it, such as human breast carcinoma MCF-7 and mouse fibroblast LM cells. The molecular mechanism underlying TNF-α-induced apoptosis is incompletely understood. Here we report that in TNF-α-sensitive cells activation of the IKK/NF-κB pathway fails to block TNF-α-induced apoptosis, although its inactivation still promotes TNF-α-induced apoptosis. Interestingly, TNF-α-induced apoptosis is suppressed by inhibition of the JNK pathway but promoted by its activation. Furthermore, activation of JNK by TNF-α was transient in TNF-α-insensitive cells but prolonged in sensitive cells. Conversion of JNK activation from prolonged to transient suppressed TNF-α-induced apoptosis. Thus, absence of NF-κB-mediated inhibition of JNK activation contributes to TNF-α-induced apoptosis.
In vitro studies of hepatocytes have implicated over-activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling as a mechanism of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF)-induced apoptosis. However, the functional significance of JNK activation and the role of specific JNK isoforms in TNF-induced hepatic apoptosis in vivo remain unclear. JNK1 and JNK2 function was, therefore, investigated in the TNF-dependent, galactosamine/lipopolysaccharide (GalN/LPS) model of liver injury. The toxin GalN converted LPS-induced JNK signaling from a transient to prolonged activation. Liver injury and mortality from GalN/LPS was equivalent in wild-type and jnk1−/− mice but markedly decreased in jnk2−/− mice. This effect was not secondary to down-regulation of TNF receptor 1 expression or TNF production. In the absence of jnk2, the caspase-dependent, TNF death pathway was blocked, as reflected by the failure of caspase-3 and -7 and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase cleavage to occur. JNK2 was critical for activation of the mitochondrial death pathway, as in jnk2−/− mice Bid cleavage and mitochondrial translocation and cytochrome c release were markedly decreased. This effect was secondary to the failure of jnk2−/− mice to activate caspase-8. Liver injury and caspase activation were similarly decreased in jnk2 null mice after GalN/TNF treatment. Ablation of jnk2 did not inhibit GalN/LPS-induced c-Jun kinase activity, although activity was completely blocked in jnk1−/− mice. Toxic liver injury is, therefore, associated with JNK over-activation and mediated by JNK2 promotion of caspase-8 activation and the TNF mitochondrial death pathway through a mechanism independent of c-Jun kinase activity.
TRAF2 regulates JNK and IKK activation in response to TNF-α stimulation. This study found that TNF-α and oxidative stress induce TRAF2 phosphorylation and that this phosphorylation inhibits apoptosis by promoting the prolonged phase of IKK activation while inhibiting the prolonged phase of JNK activation.
Tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) receptor–associated factor 2 (TRAF2) regulates activation of the c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK)/c-Jun and the inhibitor of κB kinase (IKK)/nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) signaling cascades in response to TNF-α stimulation. Gene knockout studies have revealed that TRAF2 inhibits TNF-α–induced cell death but promotes oxidative stress–induced apoptosis. Here we report that TNF-α and oxidative stress both induce TRAF2 phosphorylation at serines 11 and 55 and that this dual phosphorylation promotes the prolonged phase of IKK activation while inhibiting the prolonged phase of JNK activation. Prolonged IKK activation trigged by TNF-α plays an essential role in efficient expression of a subset of NF-κB target genes but has no substantial role in TNF-α–induced cell death. On the other hand, TRAF2 phosphorylation in response to oxidative stress significantly promotes cell survival by inducing prolonged IKK activation and by inhibiting the prolonged phase of JNK activation. Notably, stable expression of phospho-null mutant TRAF2 in cancer cells leads to an increase in the basal and inducible JNK activation and B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2) phosphorylation. In addition, exposure of cells expressing phospho-null mutant TRAF2 to sublethal oxidative stress results in a rapid degradation of Bcl-2 and cellular inhibitor of apoptosis 1 as well as significantly increased cell death. These results suggest that TRAF2 phosphorylation is essential for cell survival under conditions of oxidative stress.
Here, we identified caspase-2, protein kinase C (PKC)δ, and c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) as key components of the doxorubicin-induced apoptotic cascade. Using cells stably transfected with an antisense construct for caspase-2 (AS2) as well as a chemical caspase-2 inhibitor, we demonstrate that caspase-2 is required in doxorubicin-induced apoptosis. We also identified PKCδ as a novel caspase-2 substrate. PKCδ was cleaved/activated in a caspase-2–dependent manner after doxorubicin treatment both in cells and in vitro. PKCδ is furthermore required for efficient doxorubicin-induced apoptosis because its chemical inhibition as well as adenoviral expression of a kinase dead (KD) mutant of PKCδ severely attenuated doxorubicin-induced apoptosis. Furthermore, PKCδ and JNK inhibition show that PKCδ lies upstream of JNK in doxorubicin-induced death. Jnk-deficient mouse embryo fibroblasts (MEFs) were highly resistant to doxorubicin compared with wild type (WT), as were WT Jurkat cells treated with SP600125, further supporting the importance of JNK in doxorubicin-induced apoptosis. Chemical inhibitors for PKCδ and JNK do not synergize and do not function in doxorubicin-treated AS2 cells. Caspase-2, PKCδ, and JNK were furthermore implicated in doxorubicin-induced apoptosis of primary acute lymphoblastic leukemia blasts. The data thus support a sequential model involving caspase-2, PKCδ, and JNK signaling in response to doxorubicin, leading to the activation of Bak and execution of apoptosis.
Pretreatment of human neuroblastoma cells with an inhibitor of protein kinase C (PKC), staurosporine or H-7, prior to the addition of human alpha interferon (HuIFN-alpha), recombinant HuIFN-alpha, or recombinant HuIFN-beta blocked the inhibitory effect of these IFNs on the release of infectious herpes simplex virus type 1 from treated cells. In addition, staurosporine blocked the inhibitory effect of HuIFNs on the expressions of herpes simplex type 1 glycoproteins B, C, and D in treated neuroblastoma cells. Furthermore, addition of HuIFNs resulted in an increased expression of PKC in treated neuroblastoma cells. These results suggest that inhibitors of PKC block the expression of HuIFN-induced genes in treated human neuroblastoma cells. Thus, the activation of PKC is an important step in the HuIFN-treated cells of neuronal origin.
Trimeric tumor necrosis factor (TNF) binding leads to recruitment of TRADD to TNFR1. In current models, TRADD recruits RIP, TRAF2, and FADD to activate NF-κB, Jun N-terminal protein kinase (JNK), and apoptosis. Using stable short-hairpin RNA (shRNA) knockdown (KD) cells targeting these adaptors, TNF death-inducing signaling complex immunoprecipitation demonstrates competitive binding of TRADD and RIP to TNFR1, whereas TRAF2 recruitment requires TRADD. Analysis of KD cells indicates that FADD is necessary for Fas-L- or TRAIL- but not TNF-induced apoptosis. Interestingly, TRADD is dispensable, while RIP is required for TNF-induced apoptosis in human tumor cells. TRADD is required for c-Jun phosphorylation upon TNF exposure. RIP KD abrogates formation of complex II following TNF exposure, whereas TRADD KD allows efficient RIP-caspase 8 association. Treatment with TRAIL also induces formation of a complex II containing FADD, RIP, IKKα, and caspase 8 and 10, leading to activation of caspase 8. Our data suggest that TNF triggers apoptosis in a manner distinct from that of Fas-L or TRAIL.
We report here the cleavage of the c-Jun N-terminal Kinase (JNK) pathway scaffold protein, JNK Interacting Protein-1 (JIP1), by caspases during both Tumour Necrosis Factor-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand (TRAIL) and staurosporine-induced apoptosis in HeLa cells. During the initiation of apoptosis, maximal JNK activation is observed when JIP1 is intact, whereas cleavage of JIP1 correlates with JNK inactivation and progression of apoptosis. JIP1 is cleaved by caspase-3 at two sites, leading to disassembly of the JIP1/JNK complex. Inhibition of JIP1 cleavage by the caspase-3 inhibitor DEVD.fmk inhibits this disassembly, and is accompanied by sustained JNK activation. These data suggest that TRAIL and staurosporine induce JNK activation in a caspase-3-independent manner and that caspase-3-mediated JIP1 cleavage plays a role in JNK inactivation via scaffold disassembly during the execution phase of apoptosis. Caspase-mediated cleavage of JIP scaffold proteins may therefore represent an important mechanism for modulation of JNK signalling during apoptotic cell death.
DEVD.fmk, benzyloxycarbonyl-Asp(OMe)-Glu(OMe)-Val-Asp(OMe) fluoromethyl ketone; DTT, dithiothreitol; EDTA, ethylene diamine tetra-acetic acid; FADD, Fas-associated death domain; GAP, GTPase activating protein; IB1, Islet Brain 1; JSAP, JNK/SAPK-associated protein; JIP, JNK interacting protein; JNK, c-jun amino-terminal kinase; MAPK, Mitogen-activated protein kinase; MAPKK, MAPK kinase; MAPKKK, MAPKK kinase; NF-κB, Nuclear factor κB; PARP, poly (ADP ribose) polymerase; PBS, phosphate buffered saline; RIP, Receptor interacting protein kinase; POSH, Plenty of SH3s; TNF, tumour necrosis factor; TRADD, TNF receptor associated death domain; TRAF, TNF receptor associated factor; TRAIL, TNF-related apoptosis inducing ligand; zVAD.fmk, benzyloxycarbonyl-Val-Ala-Asp(OMe) fluoromethyl ketone; JIP; JNK; Apoptosis; Caspase-3; TRAIL; HeLa
Protein kinase Cδ (PKCδ) is proteolytically cleaved and activated at the onset of apoptosis induced by DNA-damaging agents, tumor necrosis factor, and anti-Fas antibody. A role for PKCδ in apoptosis is supported by the finding that overexpression of the catalytic fragment of PKCδ (PKCδ CF) in cells is associated with the appearance of certain characteristics of apoptosis. However, the functional relationship between PKCδ cleavage and induction of apoptosis is unknown. The present studies demonstrate that PKCδ associates constitutively with the DNA-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit (DNA-PKcs). The results show that PKCδ CF phosphorylates DNA-PKcs in vitro. Interaction of DNA-PKcs with PKCδ CF inhibits the function of DNA-PKcs to form complexes with DNA and to phosphorylate its downstream target, p53. The results also demonstrate that cells deficient in DNA-PK are resistant to apoptosis induced by overexpressing PKCδ CF. These findings support the hypothesis that functional interactions between PKCδ and DNA-PK contribute to DNA damage-induced apoptosis.
Type I interferons (IFNs) activate Janus tyrosine kinase-signal transducer and activator of transcription pathway for exerting pleiotropic biological effects, including antiviral, antiproliferative, and immunomodulatory responses. Here, we demonstrate that filamin B functions as a scaffold that links between activated Rac1 and a c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) cascade module for mediating type I IFN signaling. Filamin B interacted with Rac1, mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase 1, mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 4, and JNK. Filamin B markedly enhanced IFNα-dependent Rac1 activation and the sequential activation of the JNK cascade members. Complementation assays using M2 melanoma cells revealed that filamin B, but not filamin A, is required for IFNα-dependent activation of JNK. Furthermore, filamin B promoted IFNα-induced apoptosis, whereas short hairpin RNA-mediated knockdown of filamin B prevented it. These results establish a novel function of filamin B as a molecular scaffold in the JNK signaling pathway for type I IFN-induced apoptosis, thus providing the biological basis for antitumor and antiviral functions of type I IFNs.
Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) is a proapoptotic member of the TNF family of type II membrane proteins, which constitutes one component of T cell cytotoxicity. In this study, we investigated the expression and function of TRAIL in human peripheral blood T (PBT) cells. Although freshly isolated PBT cells did not express a detectable level of TRAIL on their surface, a remarkable TRAIL expression was rapidly induced on the surface of both CD4+ and CD8+ PBT cells upon stimulation with anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody and type I interferons (IFNs). This enhancement of TRAIL expression was a unique feature of type I IFNs (IFN-α and IFN-β), and neither type II IFN (IFN-γ) nor various other cytokines enhanced TRAIL expression on anti-CD3–stimulated PBT cells. Type I IFNs have been used for clinical treatment of renal cell carcinomas (RCCs), and we found that most RCC cell lines were susceptible to TRAIL-induced apoptosis. Type I IFNs substantially augmented cytotoxic activity of anti-CD3–stimulated PBT cells against RCC cell lines in a TRAIL-dependent manner. These results indicate a unique feature of type I IFNs to regulate TRAIL-mediated T cell cytotoxicity, which may be involved in the antitumor effects of type I IFNs against various tumors.
cytotoxic T lymphocyte; cytotoxicity; TRAIL; type I interferon; renal cell carcinoma
TRAIL (tumor necrosis factor [TNF]-related apoptosis-inducing ligand) is a molecule that displays potent antitumor activity against selected targets. The results presented here demonstrate that human monocytes rapidly express TRAIL, but not Fas ligand or TNF, after activation with interferon (IFN)-γ or -α and acquire the ability to kill tumor cells. Monocyte-mediated tumor cell apoptosis was TRAIL specific, as it could be inhibited with soluble TRAIL receptor. Moreover, IFN stimulation caused a concomitant loss of TRAIL receptor 2 expression, which coincides with monocyte acquisition of resistance to TRAIL-mediated apoptosis. These results define a novel mechanism of monocyte-induced cell cytotoxicity that requires TRAIL, and suggest that TRAIL is a key effector molecule in antitumor activity in vivo.
TRAIL; apoptosis; tumor; monocyte; human
Protein kinase C-theta (PKC-θ) is important for the activation of autoreactive T cells but is thought to be of minor importance for T-cell responses in infectious diseases, suggesting that PKC-θ may be a target for the treatment of T-cell-mediated autoimmune diseases. To explore the function of PKC-θ in a chronic persisting infection in which T cells are crucial for pathogen control, we infected BALB/c PKC-θ−/− and PKC-θ+/+ wild-type mice with Toxoplasma gondii. The PKC-θ−/− mice succumbed to necrotizing Toxoplasma encephalitis due to an insufficient parasite control up to day 40, whereas the wild-type mice survived. The number of T. gondii-specific CD4 and CD8 T cells was significantly reduced in the PKC-θ−/− mice, resulting in the impaired production of protective cytokines (gamma interferon, tumor necrosis factor) and antiparasitic effector molecules (inducible nitric oxide, gamma interferon-induced GTPase) in the spleen and brain. In addition, Th2-cell numbers were reduced in infected the PKC-θ−/− mice, paralleled by the diminished GATA3 expression of PKC-θ−/− CD4 T cells and reduced T. gondii-specific IgG production in serum and cerebrospinal fluid. Western blot analysis of splenic CD4 and CD8 T cells revealed an impaired activation of the NF-κB, AP-1, and MAPK pathways in T. gondii-infected PKC-θ−/− mice. Adoptive transfer of wild-type CD4 plus CD8 T cells significantly protected PKC-θ−/− mice from death by increasing the numbers of gamma interferon-producing T. gondii-specific CD4 and CD8 T cells, illustrating a cell-autonomous, protective function of PKC-θ in T cells. These findings imply that PKC-θ inhibition drastically impairs T. gondii-specific T-cell responses with fatal consequences for intracerebral parasite control and survival.
Members of the c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) family play crucial roles in cell activation, differentiation, and apoptosis. Although many studies have indicated that JNK1 and JNK2 have functional differences and redundancy, the upstream signaling pathway that selectively activates JNK1 or JNK2 remains unknown. In this study, we have revealed a novel regulatory mechanism of JNK activation, in which JNK2, but not JNK1, is regulated by CARMA1, a scaffold molecule, following stimulation of the T cell receptor (TCR). This CARMA1-dependent regulation of JNK2 is through Bcl10 that inducibly associates with JNK2 and serves as a JNK-interacting protein (JIP)-like scaffold to assemble JNK2, MKK7, and TAK1. Finally, we show that CARMA1- and Bcl10-mediated JNK2 activation plays a critical role in regulating the level of c-Jun protein. Together, our studies provide the first genetic evidence that JNK1 and JNK2 are differentially regulated in the TCR signaling pathway, and play different functions.
It has been reported that interferons (IFNs) may have antitumor activity in multiple myeloma (MM). The mechanism for their effect on MM, however, remains elusive. This study shows that IFN-α and -β, but not -γ, induce apoptosis characterized by Annexin V positivity, nuclear fragmentation and condensation, and loss of clonogenicity in 3 MM cell lines (U266, RPMI-8266, and NCI-H929), and in plasma cells from 10 patients with MM. Apo2 ligand (Apo2L, also TRAIL) induction was one of the earliest events following IFN administration in U266 cells. Treatment of these cells with TRAIL, but not with Fas agonistic antibodies, induces apoptosis. Cell death induced by IFNs and Apo2L in U266 cells was partially blocked by a dominant-negative Apo2L receptor, DR5, demonstrating the functional significance of Apo2L induction. This study shows that IFNs activate caspases and the mitochondrial-dependent apoptotic pathway, possibly mediated by Apo2L production. Thus, IFN-α and -β induce cytochrome c release from mitochondria starting at 12 hours, with an amplified release seen at 48 hours. Moreover, Bid cleavage precedes the initial cytochrome c release, whereas the late, amplified cytochrome c release coincides with changes in levels of Bcl-2, Bcl-XL, and reduction of mitochondrial membrane potential. These results link the Apo2L induction and modulation of Bcl-2 family proteins to mitochondrial dysfunction. Furthermore, IFNs and Apo2L induce cell death of CD38+/CD45−/dim plasma cells, without significant effect on nonplasma blood cells, in a caspase and Bcl-2 cleavage-dependent manner. These results warrant further clinical studies with IFNs and Apo2L in MM.
Reovirus-induced apoptosis is associated with activation of the proapoptotic mitogen-activated protein kinase c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and the JNK-associated transcription factor c-Jun. Here we show that reovirus-induced apoptosis and activation of caspase 3 are inhibited in cells deficient in MEK kinase 1, an upstream activator of JNK in reovirus-infected cells. Inhibition of JNK activity following reovirus infection delays the release of proapoptotic mitochondrial factors and the subsequent onset of apoptosis. In contrast, reovirus-induced apoptosis is not blocked by infection with adenovirus expressing dominant-negative c-Jun, and c-Jun activation does not correlate with apoptosis in reovirus-infected cells. This is the first report demonstrating that JNK is associated with regulation of mitochondrial pathways of apoptosis following viral infection.
Although interferon-γ (IFN-γ) potently inhibits osteoclastogenesis, the suppressive effect is significantly reduced when osteoclast precursors are pre-exposed to the receptor activator of NF-κB (RANK) ligand (RANKL). However, the molecular mechanism underlying the biphasic effects of IFN-γ on osteoclastogenesis remains elusive. Here, we recapitulate the biphasic functions of IFN-γ in osteoclastogenesis in both tissue culture dishes and on bone slices. We further demonstrate that IFN-γ markedly suppresses the RANKL-induced expression of nuclear factor of activated T-cells c1 (NFATc1) in normal, but not RANKL-pretreated bone marrow macrophages (BMMs). Similarly, IFN-γ impairs the activation of the nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) pathways in normal, but not RANKL-pretreated, BMMs. These findings indicate that IFN-γ inhibits osteoclastogenesis partially by suppressing the expression of NFATc1 and the activation of the NF-κB and JNK pathways. Moreover, IFN-γ inhibits the RANKL-induced expression of osteoclast genes, but RANKL pretreatment reprograms osteoclast genes into a state in which they can no longer be suppressed by IFN-γ, indicating that IFN-γ inhibits osteoclastogenesis by blocking the expression of osteoclast genes. Finally, the IVVY535–538 motif in the cytoplasmic domain of RANK is responsible for rendering BMMs refractory to the inhibitory effect of IFN-γ. Taken together, these findings provide important mechanistic insights into the biphasic effects of IFN-γ on osteoclastogenesis.
Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) signaling through the TNF receptors involves the recruitment of key signaling factors, leading to the activation of both the transcription factor NF-κB and the stress-activated Jun kinase (JNK). In most cells, TNF signaling leads to a rapid and transient increase in JNK activity. However, we show that TNF treatment leads to the sustained activation of JNK in cells that are null for the p65/RelA subunit of NF-κB as well as in cells expressing the super-repressor form of IκB. In addition, the data indicate that the ability of p65/RelA to regulate gene expression is required to suppress the persistent activation of JNK. Interestingly, this suppression occurs upstream of JNK, within the signal transduction cascade leading to JNK activation, without affecting the stress-activated kinase p38. Since NF-κB has previously been shown to be involved in the suppression of TNF-induced apoptosis, we were interested in determining the role of deregulated JNK activity, induced by the loss of NF-κB, in controlling the cell death response. Through the use of different approaches for inhibition of JNK, we show that the suppression of JNK activity in cells that lack active NF-κB enhances the apoptotic response to TNF. These data suggest that the activity of JNK in cells blocked for NF-κB function provides an antiapoptotic signal and explains, at least partly, why a significant number of NF-κB null cells remain viable following TNF treatment.