The illicit generation of tetraploid cells constitutes a prominent driver of oncogenesis, as it often precedes the development of aneuploidy and genomic instability. In addition, tetraploid (pre-)malignant cells display an elevated resistance against radio- and chemotherapy. Here, we report a strategy to preferentially kill tetraploid tumor cells based on the broad-spectrum kinase inhibitor SP600125. Live videomicroscopy revealed that SP600125 affects the execution of mitosis, impedes proper cell division and/or activates apoptosis in near-to-tetraploid, though less so in parental, cancer cells. We propose a novel graphical model to quantify the differential response of diploid and tetraploid cells to mitotic perturbators, including SP600125, which we baptized “transgenerational cell fate profiling.” We speculate that this representation constitutes a valid alternative to classical “single-cell fate” and “genealogical” profiling and, hence, may facilitate the analysis of cell fate within a heterogeneous population as well as the visual examination of cell cycle alterations.
cell death; cytokinesis failure; mitotic catastrophe; microtubules; polyploidy; time-lapse microscopy
The JNK inhibitor SP600125 strongly inhibits cell proliferation in many human cancer cells by blocking cell-cycle progression and inducing apoptosis. Despite extensive study, the mechanism by which SP600125 inhibits mitosis-related effects in human leukemia cells remains unclear. We investigated the effects of SP600125 on the inhibition of cell proliferation and the cell cycle, and on microtubule dynamics in vivo and in vitro. Treatment of synchronized leukemia cells with varying concentrations of SP600125 results in significant G2/M cell cycle arrest with elevated p21 levels, phosphorylation of histone H3 within 24 h, and endoreduplication with elevated Cdk2 protein levels after 48 h. SP600125 also induces significant abnormal microtubule dynamics in vivo. High concentrations of SP600125 (200 µM) were required to disorganize microtubule polymerization in vitro. Additionally, SP600125-induced delayed apoptosis and cell death was accompanied by significant poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) cleavage and caspase-3 activity in the late phase (at 72 h). Endoreduplication showed a greater increase in ectopic Bcl-2-expressing U937 cells at 72 h than in wild-type U937 cells without delayed apoptosis. These results indicate that Bcl-2 suppresses apoptosis and SP600125-induced G2/M arrest and endoreduplication. Therefore, we suggest that SP600125 induces mitotic arrest by inducing abnormal spindle microtubule dynamics.
anthra(1,9-cd)pyrazol-6(2H)-one; apoptosis; cell cycle; cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p21; JNK mitogen-activated protein kinases; microtubule; proto-oncogene proteins c-bcl-2
Brain tumor cells respond poorly to radiotherapy and chemotherapy due to inherently efficient anti-apoptotic and DNA repair mechanisms. This necessitates the development of new strategies for brain cancer therapy. Here, we report that the DNA-demethylating agent Zebularine preferentially sensitizes the killing of human glioblastomas deficient in DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK). In contrast to DNA-PK-proficient human glioblastoma cells (MO59K), cytotoxicity assay with increasing Zebularine concentrations up to 300 μM resulted in a specific elevation of cell killing in DNA-PK-deficient MO59J cells. Further, an elevated frequency of polyploid cells observed in MO59J cells after Zebularine treatment pointed out a deficiency in mitotic checkpoint control. Existence of mitotic checkpoint deficiency in MO59J cells was confirmed by the abnormal centrosome number observed in Zebularine-treated MO59J cells. Although depletion of DNA methyltransferase 1 by Zebularine occurred at similar levels in both cell lines, MO59J cells displayed increased extent of DNA demethylation detected both at the gene promoter-specific level and at the genome overall level. Consistent with increased sensitivity, deoxy-Zebularine adduct level in the genomic DNA was 3- to 6-fold higher in MO59J than in MO59K cells. Elevated micronuclei frequency observed after Zebularine treatment in MO59J cells indicates the impairment of DNA repair response in MO59J cells. Collectively, our study suggests that DNA-PK is the major determining factor for cellular response to Zebularine.
Environmental exposure to arsenic, especially the trivalent inorganic form (As3+), has been linked to human cancers in addition to a number of other diseases including skin lesions, cardiovascular disorders, neuropathy, and internal organ injury. In the present study, we describe a novel signaling axis of the c-Jun NH2 kinase (JNK) and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (Stat3) and its involvement in As3+-induced Akt activation in human bronchial epithelial cells. As3+ activates JNK and induces phosphorylation of the Stat3 at serine 727 (S727) in a dose- and time-dependent manner, which occurred concomitantly with Akt activation. Disruption of the JNK signaling pathway by treatment with the JNK inhibitor SP600125, siRNA knockdown of JNK, or genetic deficiency of the JNK1 or JNK2 gene abrogated As3+-induced S727 phosphorylation of Stat3, Akt activation, and the consequent release of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and migration of the cells. Similarly, pretreatment of the cells with Stat3 inhibitor or Stat3 siRNA prevented Akt activation and VEGF release from the cells in response to As3+ treatment. Taken together, these data revealed a new signaling mechanism that might be pivotal in As3+-induced malignant transformation of the cells by linking the key stress signaling pathway, JNK, to the activation of Stat3 and the carcinogenic kinase, Akt.
Microtubule inhibitors, such as vinblastine, are widely used in cancer chemotherapy. Vinblastine exerts its antitumor effect by inducing apoptosis. In KB-3 cells, we have shown previously that vinblastine activates c-Jun NH2-terminal protein kinase (JNK) and causes Bax mitochondrial translocation and activation. In this study, we sought to test the hypothesis that JNK and Bcl-xL act as positive and negative regulators, respectively, of Bax translocation. The JNK inhibitor SP600125 inhibited vinblastine-induced JNK activation and in concert inhibited Bax mitochondrial translocation, Bax oligomerization, and Bax activation. Furthermore, the JNK inhibitor blocked vinblastine-induced apoptosis. The ability of vinblastine to induce Bax translocation and the inhibitory effect of SP600125 were confirmed in cells stably expressing GFP-Bax. However, if transiently overexpressed, Bax localized to the mitochondria, and this was associated with loss of viability and subsequent cell death. If Bcl-xL was co-expressed with Bax, the cells readily tolerated Bax overexpression. Indeed, physical interaction between Bcl-xL and Bax but not Bak was demonstrated by co-immunoprecipitation. These findings provide novel insight into the role of Bax and its regulation in vinblastine-induced apoptosis.
JNK; Bax; vinblastine; apoptosis; Bcl-xL
Cell cycle controls ensure that DNA replication (S phase) follows mitosis resulting in two precise copies of the genome. A failure of the control mechanisms can result in multiple rounds of DNA replication without cell division. In endoreplication, cells with replicated genomes bypass mitosis, then replicate their DNA again, resulting in polyploidy. Endoreplication from G2 phase lacks all hallmarks of mitosis. Using synchronized cells, we show that the c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) inhibitor, SP600125, prevents the entry of cells into mitosis and leads to endoreplication of DNA from G2 phase. We show that cells proceed from G2 phase to replicate their DNA in the absence of mitosis. This effect of SP600125 is independent of its suppression of JNK activity. Instead, the inhibitory effect of SP600125 on mitotic entry predominantly occurs upstream of Aurora A kinase and Polo-like kinase 1, resulting in a failure to remove the inhibitory phosphorylation of Cdk1. Importantly, our results directly show that the inhibition of Cdk1 activity and the persistence of Cdk2 activity in G2 cells induces endoreplication without mitosis. Furthermore, endoreplication from G2 phase is independent of p53 control.
Cdk1 activation; endoreplication; G2/M progression; JNK; polyploidy; SP600125
The human kinome comprises over 800 individual kinases. These contribute in multiple ways to regulation of cellular metabolism and may have direct and indirect effects on virus replication. Kinases are tempting therapeutic targets for drug development, but achieving sufficient specificity is often a challenge for chemical inhibitors. While using inhibitors to assess whether c-Jun N-terminal (JNK) kinases regulate hepatitis C virus (HCV) replication, we encountered unexpected off-target effects that led us to discover a role for a mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)-related kinase, MAPK interacting serine/threonine kinase 1 (MKNK1), in viral entry. Two JNK inhibitors, AS601245 and SP600125, as well as RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated knockdown of JNK1 and JNK2, enhanced replication of HCV replicon RNAs as well as infectious genome-length RNA transfected into Huh-7 cells. JNK knockdown also enhanced replication following infection with cell-free virus, suggesting that JNK actively restricts HCV replication. Despite this, AS601245 and SP600125 both inhibited viral entry. Screening of a panel of inhibitors targeting kinases that may be modulated by off-target effects of AS601245 and SP600125 led us to identify MKNK1 as a host factor involved in HCV entry. Chemical inhibition or siRNA knockdown of MKNK1 significantly impaired entry of genotype 1a HCV and HCV-pseudotyped lentiviral particles (HCVpp) in Huh-7 cells but had only minimal impact on viral RNA replication or cell proliferation and viability. We propose a model by which MKNK1 acts to facilitate viral entry downstream of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), both of which have been implicated in the entry process.
Acetaminophen (APAP) overdose, which causes liver injury in animals and humans, activates c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK). Although it was shown that the JNK inhibitor SP600125 effectively reduced APAP hepatotoxicity, the mechanisms of protection remain unclear. C57Bl/6 mice were treated with 10 mg/kg SP600125 or vehicle (8% dimethylsulfoxide) 1h before 600 mg/kg APAP administration. APAP time-dependently induced JNK activation (detected by JNK phosphorylation). SP600125, but not the vehicle, reduced JNK activation, attenuated mitochondrial Bax translocation and prevented the mitochondrial release of apoptosis-inducing factor at 4–12 h. Nuclear DNA fragmentation, nitrotyrosine staining, tissue GSSG levels and liver injury (plasma ALT release and necrosis) were partially attenuated by the vehicle (−65%) and completely eliminated by SP600125 (−98%) at 6 and 12h. Furthermore, SP600125 attenuated the increase of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) mRNA and protein. However, APAP did not enhance plasma nitrite+nitrate levels (NO formation); SP600125 had no effect on this parameter. The iNOS inhibitor L-NIL did not reduce NO formation or injury after APAP but prevented NO formation caused by endotoxin. Since SP600125 completely eliminated the increase in hepatic GSSG levels, an indicator of mitochondrial oxidant stress, it is concluded that the inhibition of peroxynitrite was mainly caused by reduced superoxide formation. Our data suggest that the JNK inhibitor SP600125 protects against APAP-induced liver injury in part by attenuation of mitochondrial Bax translocation but mainly by preventing mitochondrial oxidant stress and peroxynitrite formation and thereby preventing the mitochondrial permeability transition pore opening, a key event in APAP-induced cell necrosis.
Acetaminophen; Hepatotoxicity; Mitochondria; JNK; SP600125; Bax; Oxidant Stress
Background & Aims
c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) is activated by multiple profibrogenic mediators; JNK activation occurs during toxic, metabolic, and autoimmune liver injury. However, its role in hepatic fibrogenesis is unknown.
JNK phosphorylation was detected by immunoblot analysis and confocal immunofluorescent microscopy in fibrotic livers from mice after bile duct ligation (BDL) or CCl4 administration and in liver samples from patients with chronic hepatitis C and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. Fibrogenesis was investigated in mice given the JNK inhibitor SP600125 and in JNK1- and JNK2-deficient mice following BDL or CCl4 administration. Hepatic stellate cell (HSC) activation was determined in primary mouse HSCs incubated with pan-JNK inhibitors SP600125 and VIII.
JNK phosphorylation was strongly increased in livers of mice following BDL or CCl4 administration as well as in human fibrotic livers, occurring predominantly in myofibroblasts. In vitro, pan-JNK inhibitors prevented transforming growth factor (TGF)β-, platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-, and angiotensin II-induced murine HSC activation and decreased PDGF and TGFβ signaling in human HSCs. In vivo, pan-JNK inhibition did not affect liver injury but significantly reduced fibrosis after BDL or CCl4. JNK1-deficient mice had decreased fibrosis after BDL or CCl4 whereas JNK2-deficient mice displayed increased fibrosis after BDL but fibrosis was not changed after CCl4. Moreover, patients with chronic hepatitis C who displayed decreased fibrosis in response to the angiotensin receptor type 1 blocker losartan showed decreased JNK phosphorylation.
JNK is involved in HSC activation and fibrogenesis and represents a potential target for antifibrotic treatment approaches.
Vestibular schwannomas (VSs) result from inactivating mutations in the merlin tumor suppressor gene. The merlin protein suppresses a variety of progrowth kinase–signaling cascades, including extracellular regulated kinase/mitogen-activated protein kinase (ERK/MAPK), c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), and phosphatidyl-inositol 3-kinase (PI3-K)/Akt. Recent studies indicate that ERKs and Akt are active in human VSs, and here we show that JNKs are also persistently active in human VS cells. With use of cultures of human VSs, we investigated the contribution of each of these signals to the proliferative and survival response of VS cells. Inhibition of ERK or Akt signaling reduced VS cell proliferation but did not increase apoptosis, whereas inhibition of JNK with SP600125, I-JIP, or siRNA knock-down reduced VS cell proliferation and survival by inducing apoptosis. By contrast, JNK activity promotes apoptosis in normal Schwann cells. Inhibition of JNK increased the fluorescence intensity of VS cells loaded with 5-(and-6)-chloromethyl-2',7'-dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate (H2DCFDA), a fluorescent probe for reactive oxygen species (ROS). Furthermore, ebselen, a ROS scavenger, rescued VS cells with suppressed JNK from apoptosis, suggesting that JNK activity protects VS cells from apoptosis by limiting accumulation of ROS. VS cultures treated with JNK inhibitors demonstrated significantly higher levels of MitoSOX Red fluorescence, implying that persistent JNK activity specifically suppresses superoxide production in the mitochondria. Overexpression of superoxide dismutase 2 (MnSOD; mitochondrial SOD) prevented apoptosis in VS cells with suppressed JNK signaling. Taken together, these results indicate that persistent JNK activity enhances VS cell survival, at least in part, by suppressing accumulation of mitochondrial superoxides.
acoustic neuroma; apoptosis; cell proliferation; cell signaling; merlin; reactive oxygen species
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is generally acknowledged as the most common primary malignant tumor, and it is known to be resistant to conventional chemotherapy. Wentilactone B (WB), a tetranorditerpenoid derivative extracted from the marine algae-derived endophytic fungus Aspergillus wentii EN-48, has been shown to trigger apoptosis and inhibit metastasis in HCC cell lines. However, the mechanisms of its antitumor activity remain to be elucidated. We report here that WB could significantly induce cell cycle arrest at G2 phase and mitochondrial-related apoptosis, accompanying the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Additionally, treatment with WB induced phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), but not p38 MAP kinase. Among the pathway inhibitors examined, only SP600125 (JNK inhibitor) markedly reversedWB-induced apoptosis, and only U0126 (ERK inhibitor) significantly blocked WB-triggered G2 phase arrest. We also found that WB treatment increased both Ras and Raf activation, and transfection of cells with dominant-negative Ras (RasN17) abolishedWB-induced apoptosis and G2 phase arrest in SMMC-7721 cells. Furthermore, the results of inverse docking (INVDOCK) analysis suggested that WB could bind to Ras–GTP, and the direct binding affinity was also confirmed by surface plasmon resonance (SPR). Finally, in vivo, WB suppressed tumor growth in mouse xenograft models. Taken together, these results indicate that WB induced G2/M phase arrest and apoptosis in human hepatoma SMMC-7721 cells via the Ras/Raf/ERK and Ras/Raf/JNK signaling pathways, and this agent may be a potentially useful compound for developing anticancer agents for HCC.
Wentilactone B; SMMC-7721 cells; cell cycle arrest; apoptosis; MAPK pathway
Atherosclerosis begins as local inflammation of arterial walls at sites of disturbed flow, such as vessel curvatures and bifurcations with low shear stress. c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) is a major regulator of flow-dependent gene expression in endothelial cells in atherosclerosis. However, little is known about the in vivo role of JNK in low shear stress in atherosclerosis. We aimed to observe the effect of JNK on low shear stress–induced atherogenesis in apolipoprotein E-deficient (ApoE−/−) mice and investigate the potential mechanism in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). We divided 84 male ApoE−/− mice into two groups for treatment with normal saline (NS) (n = 42) and JNK inhibitor SP600125 (JNK-I) (n = 42). Perivascular shear stress modifiers were placed around the right carotid arteries, and plaque formation was studied at low shear stress regions. The left carotid arteries without modifiers represented undisturbed shear stress as a control. The NS group showed atherosclerotic lesions in arterial regions with low shear stress, whereas the JNK-I group showed almost no atherosclerotic lesions. Corresponding to the expression of proatherogenic vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1), phospho-JNK (p-JNK) level was higher in low shear stress regions with NS than with JNK-I inhibitor. In HUVECs under low shear stress, siRNA knockdown and SP600125 inhibition of JNK attenuated nuclear factor (NF)-κB activity and VCAM-1 expression. Furthermore, siRNA knockdown of platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule 1 (PECAM-1) (CD31) reduced p-JNK and VCAM-1 levels after low shear stress stimulation. JNK may play a critical role in low shear stress–induced atherogenesis by a PECAM-1–dependent mechanosensory pathway and modulating NF-κB activity and VCAM-1 expression.
We previously reported data regarding the mechanism of neoplastic transformation in JB6 Cl41 mouse skin epidermal cells. However, experimental in vitro models for studying neoplastic transformation of human cells could provide further insight into the mechanisms of human cancer development. In this study, we have established a neoplastic transformation model with HaCaT cells, a human keratinocyte cell line, and showed the usefulness of this cell line for studying the mechanisms of neoplastic transformation. Epidermal growth factor (EGF) treatment induced a dose-dependent anchorage-independent cell transformation in HaCaT cells. Furthermore, PD98059, a MAP kinase/ERK kinase (MEK) inhibitor, or SP600125, c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) inhibitor, decreased cell growth, EGF-induced DNA synthesis and transformation. Unlike observations in the JB6 mouse epidermal cell model, SB203580, a stress-activated protein kinase-2/p38 α and β (p38) inhibitor, increased EGF-induced transformation in HaCaT cells. These results suggest that extracellular-signal regulated kinase (ERK), JNK or p38 are implicated in EGF-induced neoplastic transformation of human cells.
EGF; cell transformation; human keratinocyte; MAP kinase; BME, basal medium Eagle; DMEM, Dulbecco’s modified Eagle’s medium; EGF, epidermal growth factor; ERK, extracellular-signal regulated kinase; FBS, fetal bovine serum; JNK, c-Jun N-terminal kinase; MAP, mitogen-activated protein; MEK, MAP kinase/ERK kinase
Overuse and abuse of antibiotics can increase the risk of cancer. Chloramphenicol can inhibit both bacterial and mitochondrial protein synthesis, causing mitochondrial stress and decreased ATP biosynthesis. Chloramphenicol can accelerate cancer progression; however, the underlying mechanisms of chloramphenicol in carcinogenesis and cancer progression are still unclear. We found that chloramphenicol can induce matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-13 expression and increase MMP-13 protein in conditioned medium, resulting in an increase in cancer cell invasion. Chloramphenicol also activated c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNK) and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI-3K)/Akt signaling, leading to c-Jun protein phosphorylation. The activated c-Jun protein has been proven to activate binding to the MMP-13 promoter and also upregulate the amount of MMP-13. Both the SP 600125 (JNK inhibitor) and LY 294002 (PI-3K/Akt inhibitor) can inhibit chloramphenicol-induced c-Jun phosphorylation, MMP-13 expression, and cell invasion. Overexpression of the dominant-negative JNK and PI-3K p85 subunit also negate chloramphenicol-induced responses. Other antibiotics that cause mitochondrial stress and a decrease in ATP biosynthesis also induce MMP-13 expression. These findings suggest that chloramphenicol-induced PI-3K/Akt, JNK phosphorylation, and activator protein 1 activation might function as a novel mitochondrial stress signal that result in an increase of MMP-13 expression and MMP-13-associated cancer cell invasion. The findings of this study confirms that chloramphenicol, and other 70S ribosomal inhibitors, should be administered with caution, especially during cancer therapy.
chloramphenicol; matrix metalloproteinase; cell invasion; antibiotics; JNK; PI-3K, mitochondria stress
Recent studies suggest that TJ-41, a herbal drug, possesses chemotherapeutic effects. Accordingly, this study was undertaken to investigate the anticarcinogenic effects of TJ-41 on human breast cancer cells lines. TJ-41 inhibited the proliferation of human breast cancer cell lines dose dependently. Flow cytometric analysis showed that this decrease in DNA synthesis is to be associated with induction of apoptosis. In both cell lines, apoptosis was abolished by caspase-9 inhibitor Z-LEHD-fmk but was weakly inhibited by caspase-8 inhibitor Z-IETD-fmk, indicating that caspase-9 activation was involved in TJ-41 induced apoptosis. Additionally, TJ-41 stimulated phosphorylation of c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) and pretreatment of breast cancer cells with JNK inhibitor SP600125 completely abolished TJ-41 induced apoptosis. Our data also demonstrate that combined treatment of TJ-41 and 5-FU significantly potentiates the apoptotic effects of 5-FU in both breast cancer cell lines. Taken together, these data suggest that TJ-41 might provide a novel chemotherapeutic treatment for breast cancer.
AIM: To investigate the role of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) in thermotherapy-induced apoptosis in human gastric cancer SGC-7901 cells.
METHODS: Human gastric cancer SGC-7901 cells were cultured in vitro. Following thermotherapy at 43 °C for 0, 0.5, 1, 2 or 3 h, the cells were cultured for a further 24 h with or without the JNK specific inhibitor, SP600125 for 2 h. Apoptosis was evaluated by immunohistochemistry [terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL)] and flow cytometry (Annexin vs propidium iodide). Cell proliferation was determined by 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide. The production of p-JNK, Bcl-2, Bax and caspase-3 proteins was evaluated by Western blotting. The expression of JNK at mRNA level was determined by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction.
RESULTS: The proliferation of gastric carcinoma SGC-7901 cells was significantly inhibited following thermotherapy, and was 32.7%, 30.6%, 43.8% and 52.9% at 0.5, 1, 2 and 3 h post-thermotherapy, respectively. Flow cytometry analysis revealed an increased population of SGC-790l cells in G0/G1 phase, but a reduced population in S phase following thermotherapy for 1 or 2 h, compared to untreated cells (P < 0.05). The increased number of SGC-790l cells in G0/G1 phase was consistent with induced apoptosis (flow cytometry) following thermotherapy for 0.5, 1, 2 or 3 h, compared to the untreated group (46.5% ± 0.23%, 39.9% ± 0.53%, 56.6% ± 0.35% and 50.4% ± 0.29% vs 7.3% ± 0.10%, P < 0.01), respectively. This was supported by the TUNEL assay (48.2% ± 0.4%, 40.1% ± 0.2%, 61.2% ± 0.29% and 52.0% ± 0.42% vs 12.2% ± 0.22%, P < 0.01) respectively. More importantly, the expression of p-JNK protein and JNK mRNA levels were significantly higher at 0.5 h than at 0 h post-treatment (P < 0.01), and peaked at 2 h. A similar pattern was detected for Bax and caspase-3 proteins. Bcl-2 increased at 0.5 h, peaked at 1 h, and then decreased. Furthermore, the JNK specific inhibitor, SP600125, suppressed p-JNK, Bax and caspase-3 at the protein level in SGC790l cells following thermotherapy, compared to mock-inhibitor treatment, which was in line with the decreased rate of apoptosis. The expression of Bcl-2 was consistent with thermotherapy alone.
CONCLUSION: Thermotherapy induced apoptosis in gastric cancer cells by promoting p-JNK at the mRNA and protein levels, and up-regulated the expression of Bax and caspase-3 proteins. Bcl-2 may play a protective role during thermotherapy. Activation of JNK via the Bax-caspase-3 pathway may be important in thermotherapy-induced apoptosis in gastric cancer cells.
Thermotherapy; Gastric cancer; Apoptosis; c-Jun N-terminal kinase; Apoptosis-related protein
In this study, we show that exposure of human hepatocellular HepG2 cells to SP600125 rapidly and dramatically reduced global histone H3-Ser10 phosphorylation, without significantly affecting the global acetylation of neighboring lysines. The loss of phosphorylation is not due to changes in cell cycle distribution and/or apoptosis and is mediated independent of either p46/54JNK or MSK-1/2 inhibition. Moreover, SP600125 repressed the basal expression of the endogenous LDL receptor in a gene-specific manner, whereas the expression of squalene synthase, sterol response element-binding protein-1, and β-actin was not altered by SP600125. Finally, chromatin immunoprecipitation and in vivo footprinting assays provided direct evidence that localized histone H3-Ser10 dephosphorylation at the low-density lipoprotein receptor promoter was associated with a significant decrease in the occupancy of the Sp1 binding site, with a slight reduction in the occupancy of RNA polymerase II. Together, our findings show that SP600125 is an efficient inhibitor of histone H3-Ser10 phosphorylation in vivo, and our results led us to hypothesize that this modification plays a novel role in regulating transcriptional control by modulating promoter accessibility to maintain basal expression in a gene-specific manner.
c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) pathway has been shown to be essential for cell cycle progression and mitosis. We previously showed that this pathway is activated in mitotic granulosa cells of follicles from transitional to antral stages. In this study, we, therefore, aimed to investigate whether this signaling pathway has any effect on in-vitro growth of murine preantral follicles and granulosa cell cycle control. Two structurally different pharmacologic JNK inhibitors, SP600125 and AS601245, were used in the experiments. First their inhibitory concentrations were determined in granulosa cells by Western blot analysis. Then preantral follicles isolated from immature and adult C57BL/6 mice were cultured in matrigel and standard culture plates for 6 days with these inhibitors. Spontaneously immortalized rat granulosa cells (SIGCs) were first synchronized at G1/S and G2/M stages of cell cycle and then treated with JNK inhibitors. Cell cycle progression was analyzed with Bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) assay and flow cytometry analysis. Both inhibitors significantly inhibited phosphorylation of c-Jun in granulosa cells at 25, 50, and 100 μmol/L concentrations. Isolated preantral follicles cultured with these inhibitors exhibited arrested growth in culture in a dose-dependent manner. Cell cycle analyses showed that both inhibitors impair the progression of cell cycle at S phase and G2/M transition of granulosa cells. These results suggest that JNK pathway is essential for in vitro growth of preantral follicle growth and regulates both S phase and G2/M stages of cell cycle in granulosa cells.
culture; preantral follicle; growth; matrigel; JNK; c-Jun; granulosa cell cycle
γ-Secretase is a multiprotein complex composed of presenilin (PS), nicastrin (NCT), Aph-1, and Pen-2, and it catalyzes the final proteolytic step in the processing of amyloid precursor protein to generate amyloid-β. Our previous results showed that tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) can potently stimulate γ-secretase activity through a c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK)-dependent pathway. Here, we demonstrate that TNF-α triggers JNK-dependent serine/threonine phosphorylation of PS1 and NCT to stimulate γ-secretase activity. Blocking of JNK activity with a potent JNK inhibitor (SP600125) reduces TNF-α–triggered phosphorylation of PS1 and NCT. Consistent with this, we show that activated JNKs can be copurified with γ-secretase complexes and that active recombinant JNK2 can promote the phosphorylation of PS1 and NCT in vitro. Using site-directed mutagenesis and a synthetic peptide, we clearly show that the Ser319Thr320 motif in PS1 is an important JNK phosphorylation site that is critical for the TNF-α–elicited regulation of γ-secretase. This JNK phosphorylation of PS1 at Ser319Thr320 enhances the stability of the PS1 C-terminal fragment that is necessary for γ-secretase activity. Together, our findings strongly suggest that JNK is a critical intracellular mediator of TNF-α–elicited regulation of γ-secretase and governs the pivotal step in the assembly of functional γ-secretase.
FDH (10-formyltetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase) suppresses cancer cell proliferation through p53 dependent apoptosis but also induces strong cytotoxicity in p53-deficient prostate cells. In the present study we have demonstrated that FDH induces apoptosis in PC-3 prostate cells through simultaneous activation of the JNK and ERK pathways with JNK phosphorylating c-Jun and ERK1/2 phosphorylating Elk-1. The JNK1/2 inhibitor SP600125 or ERK1/2 inhibitor PD98059 prevented phosphorylation of c-Jun and Elk-1, correspondingly and partially protected PC-3 cells from FDH-induced cytotoxicity. Combination of the two inhibitors produced an additive effect. The contribution from the JNK cascade to FDH-induced apoptosis was significantly stronger than from the ERK pathway. siRNA knockdown of JNK1/2 or “turning off” the downstream target c-Jun by either siRNA or expression of the dominant negative c-Jun mutant, TAM67, rescued PC-3 cells from FDH-induced apoptosis. The pull-down assays on immobilized c-Jun demonstrated that c-Jun is directly phosphorylated by JNK2 in FDH-expressing cells. Interestingly, the FDH-induced apoptosis in p53-proficient A549 cells also proceeds through activation of JNK1/2 but the down-stream target for JNK2 is p53 instead of c-Jun. Furthermore, in A549 cells FDH activates caspase 9 while in PC-3 cells it activates caspase 8. Our studies indicate that the JNK pathways are common downstream mechanism of FDH-induced cytotoxicity in different cell types while the endpoint target in the cascade is cell type specific. JNK activation in response to FDH was inhibited by high supplementation of reduced folate leucovorin, further indicating a functional connection between folate metabolism and MAPK pathways.
apoptosis; FDH; Jun kinases; c-Jun; RNAi; PC-3 cells
The purpose of this study was to investigate the mechanism of expression of matrix metalloproteinase-13 (MMP-13) induced by nitric oxide (NO). Human chondrocytes (HCs) were stimulated with a NO donor (MAHMA-NONOate), then mitogen-activated protein kinases’ (MAPKs) and nuclear factor κB’ (NF-κB) activations and MMP-13′ expression were assayed by Western blot analysis. Additionally, the intracellular signalling of NO was investigated using the inhibitors of MAPKs and NF-κB. NO-induced MMP-13 expression was not suppressed by extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) inhibitor (PD98059) or inhibitors of p38 kinase (SB203580), but was inhibited by a c-jun terminal kinase (JNK) inhibitor (SP600125) and inhibitors of NF-κB (SN-50). Additionally, SP600125 treatment reduced NF-κB activation, but SN-50 treatment did not significantly affect JNK activation. These results suggest that NO induces MMP-13 expression by JNK and NF-κB activation in HCs.
Cryptotanshinone (CPT), a natural compound isolated from the plant Salvia miltiorrhiza Bunge, is a potential anticancer agent. However, the underlying mechanism is not well understood. Here, we show that CPT induced caspase-independent cell death in human tumor cells (Rh30, DU145, and MCF-7). Besides downregulating antiapoptotic protein expression of survivin and Mcl-1, CPT increased phosphorylation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), and inhibited phosphorylation of extracellular signal–regulated kinases 1/2 (Erk1/2). Inhibition of p38 with SB202190 or JNK with SP600125 attenuated CPT-induced cell death. Similarly, silencing p38 or c-Jun also in part prevented CPT-induced cell death. In contrast, expression of constitutively active mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 1 (MKK1) conferred resistance to CPT inhibition of Erk1/2 phosphorylation and induction of cell death. Furthermore, we found that all of these were attributed to CPT induction of reactive oxygen species (ROS). This is evidenced by the findings that CPT induced ROS in a concentration- and time-dependent manner; CPT induction of ROS was inhibited by N-acetyl-l-cysteine (NAC), a ROS scavenger; and NAC attenuated CPT activation of p38/JNK, inhibition of Erk1/2, and induction of cell death. The results suggested that CPT induction of ROS activates p38/JNK and inhibits Erk1/2, leading to caspase-independent cell death in tumor cells.
To correlate retinal ganglion cell (RGC) loss and optic nerve (ON) damage with the duration of acute glaucoma attacks in a rat experimental model and to determine whether the c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) inhibitor SP600125 protects against such attacks.
To model an acute glaucoma attack, rat intraocular pressure (IOP) was elevated by a controllable compression method using pulleys and specific weights. Intraocular pressure was measured with a TonoLab® rebound tonometer. Time-dependent ocular hypertension-induced damage was evaluated by ON morphology, retina morphology (both retina layer thickness in cross-sections and RGC counts in Dextran tetramethylrhodamine crystals [DTMR] labeled flatmounts), and scotopic flash electroretinography (ERG). A c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) inhibitor, SP600125 (0, 1.5, 5, or 15 mg/kg), was administered by intraperitoneal injection immediately before and after induction of ocular hypertension, then once daily for seven days. Retinal cross-sections were measured to determine the thickness of various retinal layers and the cell density in the ganglion cell layer (GCL). Retinal flatmounts immunolabeled with anti-rat Brn-3a primary antibody were used to quantify RGC numbers.
Elevated rat IOP induced by corneal limbus compression correlated with the different weights. Elevation to 45 mmHg for up to 7 h did not significantly affect the thicknesses of the outer nuclear layer, outer plexiform layer, or inner nuclear layer. Amplitudes of A- and B-waves were not affected. However, elevation to 45 mmHg for up to 7 h decreased the inner retinal thickness and caused ON damage. Most importantly, IOP elevation induced a time-dependent RGC loss. Cell density in the GCL decreased to 70%, 62%, and 49% of that of the control after 5 h, 6 h, and 7 h, respectively, of pressure increases. In retinal flatmount studies, labeled RGCs were reduced 56±4% (mean±SEM) versus the control (p<0.001) after 7 h of ocular hypertension. SP600125 dose-dependently protected against ocular hypertension-induced RGC loss. The difference in RGC density between the vehicle and SP600125-treated (15 mg/kg) groups was statistically significant (p<0.001).
The correlation of inner retinal morphological changes with the duration of the application of 45 mmHg IOP was demonstrated. Treatment with SP600125 significantly protected RGC survival against this insult. Inhibitors of JNK may be an interesting pharmacological class for treating glaucoma.
Supplementation with a mixture of trans-10, cis-12 (t10,c12) and cis-9, trans-11 (c9,t11) isomers of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), or t10,c12 CLA alone, reduces body weight and fat deposition in animals and some humans. However, these anti-obesity actions of t10,c12 CLA are routinely accompanied by increased markers of inflammation and insulin resistance. Thus, we examined the extent to which blocking c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling using the JNK inhibitor SP600125 attenuated markers of inflammation and insulin resistance in primary human adipocytes treated with t10,c12 CLA. SP600125 attenuated t10,c12 CLA-mediated phosphorylation of cJun and increased protein levels of activating transcription factor (ATF) 3, two downstream targets of JNK. SP600125 attenuated t10,c12 CLA-mediated induction of inflammatory genes, including interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, IL-1β, ATF3, monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1, and cyclooxygenase-2. Consistent with these data, SP600125 prevented t10,c12 CLA-mediated secretion of IL-8, IL-6, and MCP-1. SP600125 prevented t10,c12 CLA suppression of lipogenic genes including peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma, liver × receptor, sterol regulatory element binding protein, acetyl-CoA carboxylase, and stearoyl-CoA desaturase. Additionally, SP600125 blocked t10,c12 CLA-mediated induction of suppresser of cytokine synthesis-3 and suppression of adiponectin and insulin-dependent glucose transporter 4 mRNA levels. Collectively, these data suggest that JNK signaling plays an important role in t10,c12 CLA-mediated regulation of inflammatory and lipogenic gene expression in primary cultures of human adipocytes.
conjugated linoleic acid; adipocytes; JNK; cJun; inflammation; lipogenic genes
The transcription factors ATF-2 and c-Jun are important for transactivation of varicella-zoster virus (VZV) genes. c-Jun is activated by the c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), a member of the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway that responds to stress and cytokines. To study the effects of VZV on this pathway, confluent human foreskin fibroblasts were infected with cell-associated VZV for 1 to 4 days. Immunoblots showed that phosphorylated JNK and c-Jun levels increased in VZV-infected cells, and kinase assays determined that phospho-JNK was active. Phospho-JNK was detected after 24 h, and levels rose steadily over 4 days in parallel with accumulation of VZV antigen. The two main activators of JNK are MKK4 and MKK7, and levels of their active, phosphorylated forms also increased. The competitive inhibitor of JNK, SP600125, caused a dose-dependent reduction in VZV yield (50% effective concentration, ≅8 μM). Specificity was verified by immunoblotting; phospho-c-Jun was eliminated by 18 μM SP600125 in VZV-infected cells. Immunofluorescent confocal microscopy showed that phospho-c-Jun and most of phospho-JNK were in the nuclei of VZV-infected cells; some phospho-JNK was in the cytoplasm. MKK4, MKK7, JNK, and phospho-JNK were detected by immunoblotting in purified preparations of VZV virions, but c-Jun was absent. JNK was located in the virion tegument, as determined by biochemical fractionation and immunogold transmission electron microscopy. Overall, these results demonstrate the importance of the JNK pathway for VZV replication and advance the idea that JNK is a useful drug target against VZV.