Journal Article

Humulone inhibits phorbol ester-induced COX-2 expression in mouse skin by blocking activation of NF-κB and AP-1: IκB kinase and c-Jun-N-terminal kinase as respective potential upstream targets

Jung-Chul Lee, Joydeb K. Kundu, Dal-Mi Hwang, Hye-Kyung Na and Young-Joon Surh

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 28, issue 7, pages 1491-1498
Published in print July 2007 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online March 2007 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/bgm054
Humulone inhibits phorbol ester-induced COX-2 expression in mouse skin by blocking activation of NF-κB and AP-1: IκB kinase and c-Jun-N-terminal kinase as respective potential upstream targets

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Humulone, a bitter acid derived from hop (Humulus lupulus L.), possesses antioxidative, anti-inflammatory and other biologically active activities. Although humulone has been reported to inhibit chemically induced mouse skin tumor promotion, the underlying mechanisms are yet to be elucidated. Since an inappropriate over-expression of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) is implicated in carcinogenesis, we investigated effects of humulone on COX-2 expression in mouse skin stimulated with the tumor promoter 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA). Topical application of humulone (10 μmol) significantly inhibited TPA-induced epidermal COX-2 expression. Humulone also diminished TPA-induced DNA binding of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) and activator protein-1 (AP-1). Pre-treatment with humulone attenuated TPA-induced phosphorylation of p65 and nuclear translocation of NF-κB subunit proteins. Humulone blunted TPA-induced activation of inhibitory kappaB (IκB) kinase (IKK) in mouse skin, which accounts for its suppression of phosphorylation and subsequent degradation of IκBα. An in vitro kinase assay revealed that humulone could directly inhibit the catalytic activity of IKKβ. Humulone suppressed the activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) in TPA-treated mouse skin. The roles of extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase-1/2 and p38 MAPK in TPA-induced activation of NF-κB in mouse skin had been defined in our previous studies. The present study revealed that topical application of SP600125, a pharmacological inhibitor of c-Jun-N-terminal kinase (JNK), abrogated the activation of AP-1 and the expression of COX-2 in TPA-treated mouse skin. Taken together, humulone suppressed TPA-induced activation of NF-κB and AP-1 and subsequent expression of COX-2 by blocking upstream kinases IKK and JNK, respectively, which may account for its antitumor-promoting effects on mouse skin carcinogenesis.

Journal Article.  5138 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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