Constitutively active mutants of MAP kinase kinase (MEK1) induce growth factor-relaxation and oncogenicity when expressed in fibroblasts.
ABSTRACT The Mitogen Activated Protein Kinase (MAPK) module operates downstream of Ras to convey cell surface signals to the nucleus via the nuclear translocation of p42/p44 MAPKs. We have previously established that MAPK activation is obligatory and must persist in the G1 phase to allow resting fibroblasts to exit from G0 (Pagès et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci.1993, 90, 8319-8323). It remained to be established whether MAPK activation was sufficient to trigger cell proliferation. To this aim, we generated and expressed in Chinese hamster lung fibroblasts, constitutively active mutants of hamster MAP kinase kinase (MAPKK). Three mutants: S218D, S222D and S218D/S222D in which we substituted the Raf1/MAPKKK-dependent regulatory phosphorylation sites by aspartic acid residues, displayed increased basal activity when expressed in fibroblasts. Two of them, S218D and S218D/S222D which have a basal activity higher than serum-stimulated wild type-MAPKK (respectively 2- and 5-fold), induced activation of p42 MAPK in growth factor-deprived cells. Interestingly, only these two mutants led to a growth factor-independent state as judged by early gene transcription (activation of the fos promoter), increased sensitivity to growth factors for reinitiation of DNA synthesis, autonomous cell cycling and rapid tumor formation in nude mice. Therefore we conclude that the downstream elements of the growth factor signalling cascade, MAPKK-MAPK, are both necessary and sufficient to promote growth factor signals and autonomous cell cycling in fibroblasts.
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ABSTRACT: The karyotypic chaos exhibited by human epithelial cancers complicates efforts to identify mutations critical for malignant transformation. Here we integrate complementary genomic approaches to identify human oncogenes. We show that activation of the ERK and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) signaling pathways cooperate to transform human cells. Using a library of activated kinases, we identify several kinases that replace PI3K signaling and render cells tumorigenic. Whole genome structural analyses reveal that one of these kinases, IKBKE (IKKepsilon), is amplified and overexpressed in breast cancer cell lines and patient-derived tumors. Suppression of IKKepsilon expression in breast cancer cell lines that harbor IKBKE amplifications induces cell death. IKKepsilon activates the nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) pathway in both cell lines and breast cancers. These observations suggest a mechanism for NF-kappaB activation in breast cancer, implicate the NF-kappaB pathway as a downstream mediator of PI3K, and provide a framework for integrated genomic approaches in oncogene discovery.Cell 07/2007; 129(6):1065-79. DOI:10.1016/j.cell.2007.03.052 · 33.12 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The MEK1-ERK1/2 signaling pathway has been implicated in the regulation of renal epithelial cell proliferation, epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and the induction of an invasive cell phenotype. Much less information is available about the MEK5-ERK5 module and its role in renal epithelial cell proliferation and differentiation. In the present study we have investigated the regulation of these two families of extracellular signal-regulated kinases in epidermal growth factor (EGF)-stimulated human kidney-2 (HK-2) cells and a possible interaction between ERK1/2 and ERK5. Here we report that 5 ng/ml EGF led to a strong stimulation of HK-2 cell proliferation, which was largely U0126-sensitive. Both synthetic MEK1/2 inhibitors U0126 and Cl-1040, when used at 10 and 1 microM, respectively, inhibited basal and EGF-induced ERK1/2 phosphorylation but not ERK5 phosphorylation. Long-term inhibition of MEK1/2-ERK1/2 signaling and/or vanadate-sensitive protein phosphatases enhanced and prolonged EGF-induced ERK5 phosphorylation, while transient expression of an adenoviral constitutively active MEK1 (Ad-caMEK1) construct completely blocked EGF-induced ERK5 phosphorylation. Expression of Ad-caMEK1 in HK-2 cells resulted in the upregulation of the dual-specificity phosphatases MKP-3/DUSP6, MKP-1/DUSP1, and DUSP5. The EGF-mediated time-dependent induction of MKP-3, MKP-1 and DUSP5 mRNA levels was U0126-sensitive at a concentration, which blocked EGF-mediated ERK1/2 phosphorylation but not ERK5 phosphorylation. Furthermore, U0126 inhibited EGF-induced MKP-3 and MKP-1 protein expression. Both MKP-3 and MKP-1 co-immunoprecipitated with ERK5 in unstimulated as well as in EGF-stimulated HK-2 cells. These results suggest the existence of an ERK1/2-driven negative feed-back regulation of ERK5 signaling in EGF-stimulated HK-2 cells, which is mediated by MKP-3, DUSP5 and/or MKP-1.Journal of Cellular Physiology 04/2007; 211(1):88-100. DOI:10.1002/jcp.20909 · 3.87 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: One of the major targets for breast cancer therapy is the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and related receptors, which signal via different signal transduction pathways including the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway. This study determined whether there is a correlation between EGFR/HER2 status and MAPK (ERK1/2) phosphorylation in breast cancer cells, and how this affects the response to an inhibitor of the receptors. Expression of EGFR, HER2 and phosphorylated ERK1/2 were measured by immunoblotting in a panel of breast cancer cell lines. Several lines expressed high levels of pERK1/2, with no obvious correlation with the level of EGFR/HER2. The EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor PKI166 inhibited growth and induced apoptosis in some cells with high levels of growth factor receptors (MDA-MB-468, SUM149, SKBR3), but was less effective in cells that also had high basal ERK1/2 activity (MDA-MB-231). The combination of an inhibitor of MAPK signalling (U0126) and PKI166 produced significantly more inhibition and apoptosis than either agent alone. This suggests that constitutive activation of the MAPK pathway may bypass inhibition of EGFR/HER2 tyrosine kinases, and lead to insensitivity to agents targeting the receptors. However, inhibiting both EGFR/HER2 and MAPK signalling can result in significant growth inhibition and apoptosis of EGFR-expressing breast cancer cells.British Journal of Cancer 09/2004; 91(4):795-802. DOI:10.1038/sj.bjc.6602051 · 4.82 Impact Factor