p38 MAPK family consists of four isoform proteins (alpha, beta, gamma, and delta) that are activated by the same stimuli, but the information about how these proteins act together to yield a biological response is missing. Here we show a feed-forward mechanism by which p38alpha may regulate Ras transformation and stress response through depleting its family member p38gamma protein via c-Jun-dependent ubiquitin-proteasome pathways. Analyses of MAPK kinase 6 (MKK6)-p38 fusion proteins showed that constitutively active p38alpha (MKK6-p38alpha) and p38gamma (MKK6-p38gamma) stimulates and inhibits c-Jun phosphorylation respectively, leading to a distinct AP-1 regulation. Depending on cell type and/or stimuli, p38alpha phosphorylation results in either Ras-transformation inhibition or a cell-death escalation that invariably couples with a decrease in p38gamma protein expression. p38gamma, on the other hand, increases Ras-dependent growth or inhibits stress induced cell-death independent of phosphorylation. In cells expressing both proteins, p38alpha phosphorylation decreases p38gamma protein expression, whereas its inhibition increases cellular p38gamma concentrations, indicating an active role of p38alpha phosphorylation in negatively regulating p38gamma protein expression. Mechanistic analyses show that p38alpha requires c-Jun activation to deplete p38gamma proteins by ubiquitin-proteasome pathways. These results suggest that p38alpha may, upon phosphorylation, act as a gatekeeper of the p38 MAPK family to yield a coordinative biological response through disrupting its antagonistic p38gamma family protein.
"Few reports addressed the p38γ and p38δ isoforms. Recent studies indicated that the Ras oncogene positively regulated the expression of p38γ, which increases Ras-dependent growth or inhibits stress induced cell-death independent of phosphorylation26. This role that p38 played may be achieve by up-regulation of ERK (extracellular signal-regulated kinase) expression or banding with PTPH1 (Protein-tyrosine phosphatase H1)1327. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to confirm the biological role of p38γ in human gliomas. The expression profiles of p38γ and hTERT in human glioma samples were detected by Western Blot and immunohistochemistry. RNA interference was performed in U251 cells by p38γ silencing. Cell proliferation and apoptosis were assayed by CCK-8 and flow cytometric analysis, and then RNA and protein expression levels were measured by real-time RT-PCR and Western Blot, respectively. Telomerase activity assays and Caspase-3,-9 activation assays were also conducted. The results showed p38γ had a positive correlation with the glioma's malignancy grade and that the treatment of U251 cells with p38γ-siRNA inhibited proliferation and induced apoptosis. Correspondingly, hTERT expression and telomerase activity were down regulated and Caspase-3 and -9 activities were elevated. In conclusion, p38γ may serve as an oncogenic factor promoting the growth and progression of gliomas and may become a useful therapeutic target.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: p38 mitogen-activated protein kinases (p38 MAPKs) are a group of serine/threonine protein kinases that together with ERK (extracellular signal-regulated kinases) and JNK (c-Jun N-terminal kinases) MAPKs act to convert different extracellular signals into specific cellular responses through interacting with and phosphorylating downstream targets. In contrast to the mitogenic ERK pathway, mammalian p38 MAPK family proteins (alpha, beta, gamma, and delta), with and without JNK participation, predominantly regulate inflammatory and stress response. Recent emerging evidence suggests that the p38 stress MAPK pathway may function as a tumor suppressor through regulating Ras-dependent and -independent proliferation, transformation, invasion and cell death by isoform-specific mechanisms. A selective activation of a stress pathway to block tumorigenesis may be a novel strategy to control human malignancies.
Frontiers in Bioscience 02/2008; 13(13):3581-93. DOI:10.2741/2951 · 3.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Adult skeletal muscle is a very stable tissue containing a small population of myofiber-associated quiescent satellite cells compared with late embryonic/neonatal skeletal muscle, which contains highly proliferating myoblasts and small actively growing myofibers, suggesting that specific regulatory pathways may control myogenesis at distinct developmental stages. The p38 MAPK signaling pathway is central for myogenesis, based on studies using immortalized and neonatal primary myoblasts in vitro. However, the contribution of this pathway to adult myogenesis has never been investigated. Four p38 isoforms (p38alpha, p38beta, p38gamma and p38delta) exist in mammalian cells, being p38alpha and p38gamma the most abundantly expressed isoforms in adult skeletal muscle. Given the embryonic/neonatal lethality of p38alpha-deficient mice, here we investigate the relative contribution of p38beta, p38gamma and p38delta to adult myogenesis. Regeneration and myofiber growth of adult muscle proceeds with similar efficiency in mice lacking p38beta, p38gamma and p38delta as in wild-type control mice. In agreement with this, there is no difference in adult primary myoblasts behavior in vitro among the different genotypes. Importantly, the pattern of p38 activation (ascribed to p38alpha) remains unperturbed during satellite cell-mediated myogenesis in vitro and adult muscle regeneration in wild type and p38beta-, p38gamma- and p38delta-deficient mice, rendering p38alpha as the essential p38 isoform sustaining adult myogenesis. This study constitutes the first analysis addressing the functionality of p38beta, p38gamma and p38delta in satellite cell-dependent adult muscle regeneration and growth.
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