Journal Article

Activation of JNK, p38 and ERK mitogen-activated protein kinases by chromium(VI) is mediated through oxidative stress but does not affect cytotoxicity

Show-Mei Chuang, Geou-Yarh Liou and Jia-Ling Yang

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 21, issue 8, pages 1491-1500
Published in print August 2000 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online August 2000 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/21.8.1491
Activation of JNK, p38 and ERK mitogen-activated protein kinases by chromium(VI) is mediated through oxidative stress but does not affect cytotoxicity

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In this study we have explored the involvement of oxidative stress in Cr(VI)-induced JNK, p38 and ERK signaling pathways and their effects on Cr(VI) cytotoxicity in human non-small cell lung carcinoma CL3 cells. Exposure to K2Cr2O7 markedly activated JNK and p38 and moderately activated ERK in a dose- (10–80 μM) and time-dependent (1–12 h) manner. The activated p38 decreased markedly and rapidly and the activated JNK decreased gradually when Cr(VI) was removed from the medium. Post-incubation of Cr(VI)-treated cells with H2O2 increased the activities of JNK and p38, but not ERK. Co-administering Cr(VI) with 3-amino-1,2,4-triazole (3AT), a catalase inhibitor, enhanced p38 activation, but did not influence JNK and ERK activation by Cr(VI). Conversely, co-administering Cr(VI) with mannitol, a hydroxyl radical scavenger and a Cr(V) chelator, reduced p38 activation and increased JNK and ERK activation by Cr(VI). These results indicate that p38 activation by Cr(VI) is positively correlated with oxidative stress, while JNK activity can be enhanced by either a quencher (mannitol) or activator (H2O2) of redox reactions in Cr(VI)-exposed CL3 cells. However, both 3AT and mannitol reduced the cytotoxicity of Cr(VI), but H2O2 did not. The JNK activated by Cr(VI) was decreased (~50%) by expression of a kinase-defective form of MKK7 (MKK7A) but not that of MKK4 (MKK4KR), suggesting that activation of JNK by Cr(VI) is mediated through MKK7. SB202190, a specific inhibitor of p38, markedly decreased JNK but did not change ERK activation by Cr(VI). PD98059, a specific inhibitor of ERK kinases MKK1/2, blocked ERK and p38 but did not alter JNK activation by Cr(VI). Neither the specific kinase inhibitors nor expression of MKK7A altered Cr(VI)-induced cytotoxicity. Together, these results suggest that activation of the JNK, p38 and ERK pathways by Cr(VI) is mediated through diverse redox mechanisms, yet their activation does not correlate with Cr(VI) cytotoxicity.

Keywords: 3AT, 3-amino-1,2,4-triazole; DCF, dichlorofluorescein; ERK, extracellular signal-regulated kinase; JNK, c-JUN N-terminal kinase; MAPK, mitogen-activated protein kinase; MKK, MAPK kinase; MKP, MAPK phosphotase; PBS, phosphate-buffered saline; ROS, reactive oxygen species.

Journal Article.  8382 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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