Bcl-2 Phosphorylation by p38 MAPK: Identification of target sites and biologic consequences

University of Florence, Florens, Tuscany, Italy
Journal of Biological Chemistry (Impact Factor: 4.57). 08/2006; 281(30):21353-61. DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M511052200
Source: PubMed


The antiapoptotic role of Bcl-2 can be regulated by its phosphorylation in serine and threonine residues located in a nonstructured loop that links BH3 and BH4 domains. p38 MAPK has been identified as one of the kinases able to mediate such phosphorylation, through direct interaction with Bcl-2 protein in the mitochondrial compartment. In this study, we identify, by using mass spectrometry techniques and specific anti-phosphopeptide antibodies, Ser(87) and Thr(56) as the Bcl-2 residues phosphorylated by p38 MAPK and show that phosphorylation of these residues is always associated with a decrease in the antiapoptotic potential of Bcl-2 protein. Furthermore, we obtained evidence that p38 MAPK-induced Bcl-2 phosphorylation plays a key role in the early events following serum deprivation in embryonic fibroblasts. Both cytochrome c release and caspase activation triggered by p38 MAPK activation and Bcl-2 phosphorylation are absent in embryonic fibroblasts from p38alpha knock-out mice (p38alpha(-/-) MEF), whereas they occur within 12 h of serum withdrawal in p38alpha(+/+) MEF; moreover, they can be prevented by p38 MAPK inhibitors and are not associated with the synthesis of the proapoptotic proteins Bax and Fas. Thus, Bcl-2 phosphorylation by activated p38 MAPK is a key event in the early induction of apoptosis under conditions of cellular stress.

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    • "Members of the Bcl-2 family proteins with either proapoptotic (e.g., Bax, and Bak) or antiapoptotic (e.g., Bcl-2, and Bcl-xL) functions regulate the mitochondrial membrane permeability (MMP) in apoptosis, and decreases in antiapoptotic and increases in proapoptotic Bcl-2 family proteins were observed during apoptosis of cancer cells under chemical stimulation. Previous papers indicated that the subtle balance of the Bcl-2/Bax complex led to an anti- or proapoptotic effect, and the overexpression of Bax may induce loss of the MMP that initiates apoptosis progression [17], [18]. It was indicated that disruption of the MMP via disturbing the Bcl-2/Bax balance leading to activation of caspases-9 and -3 plays an important role in apoptosis induced by chemotherapeutic agents. "
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    ABSTRACT: Evodiamine (EVO; 8,13,13b,14-tetrahydro-14-methylindolo[2'3'-3,4]pyrido[2,1-b]quinazolin-5-[7H]-one derived from the traditional herbal medicine Evodia rutaecarpa was reported to possess anticancer activity; however, the anticancer mechanism is still unclear. In this study, we investigated the anticancer effects of EVO on human colon COLO205 and HT-29 cells and their potential mechanisms. MTT and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release assays showed that the viability of COLOL205 and HT-29 cells was inhibited by EVO at various concentrations in accordance with increases in the percentage of apoptotic cells and cleavage of caspase-3 and poly(ADP ribose) polymerase (PARP) proteins. Disruption of the mitochondrial membrane potential by EVO was accompanied by increased Bax, caspase-9 protein cleavage, and cytochrome (Cyt) c protein translocation in COLO205 and HT-29 cells. Application of the antioxidant N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) inhibited H2O2-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and apoptosis, but did not affect EVO-induced apoptosis of COLO205 or HT-29 cells. Significant increases in the G2/M ratio and cyclinB1/cdc25c protein expression by EVO were respectively identified in colon carcinoma cells via a flow cytometric analysis and Western blotting. Induction of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) protein phosphorylation was detected in EVO-treated cells, and the JNK inhibitor, SP600125, but not the ERK inhibitor, U0126, inhibited EVO-induced phosphorylated JNK protein expression, apoptosis, and G2/M arrest of colon carcinoma cells. Data of the structure-activity analysis showed that EVO-related chemicals containing an alkyl group at position 14 were able to induce apoptosis, G2/M arrest associated with increased DNA ladder formation, cleavage of caspase-3 and PARP, and elevated cycB1 and cdc25c protein expressions in COLO205 and HT-29 cells. Evidence supporting JNK activation leading to EVO-induced apoptosis and G2/M arrest in colon carcinoma cells is provided, and alkylation at position 14 of EVO is a critical substitution for treatment of colonic cancer.
    PLoS ONE 06/2014; 9(6):e99729. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0099729 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "Many studies have indicated that each of the amphetamine derivatives have direct effects including the induction of apoptosis by phosphorylation (inactivation) of Bcl-2 in MDMA-exposed tissue (28, 29). "
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    ABSTRACT: Objective(s): 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is one of the most popular drugs of abuse in the world with hallucinogenic properties that has been shown to induce apoptosis in liver cells. The present study aimed to investigate the effects of pentoxifylline (PTX) on liver damage induced by acute administration of MDMA in Wistar rat. Materials and Methods: Animals were administered with saline or MDMA (7.5 mg/kg, IP) 3 times with 2 hr intervals. PTX (200 mg kg, IP), was administered simultaneously with last injection of MDMA in experimental group. Results: The concomitant administration of pentoxifylline and MDMA decreased liver injury including apoptosis, fibrosis and hepatocytes damages. Conclusion: Our results showed for the first time that PTX treatment diminishes the extent of apoptosis and fibrosis caused by MDMA in rat liver.
    Iranian Journal of Basic Medical Science 08/2013; 16(8):922-927. · 1.23 Impact Factor
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    • "IKK; a novel Bcl-2 kinase? So far, ERK, JNK, and p38 MAPKs were identified to be involved in Bcl-2 phosphorylation in response to various cytotoxic stimuli as well as a few other kinases including Raf-1, PKA, and mTOR in a variety of mammalian cell lines (Blagosklonny et al., 1996; Srivastava et al., 1998; Calastretti et al., 2001; Tamura et al., 2004; De Chiara et al., 2006; Kim et al., 2008). Although shown to be associated with phosphorylation of Bclx L recently (Khoshnan et al., 2009), IKK has not been named to phosphorylate Bcl-2 yet. "
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    ABSTRACT: Apoptosis of macrophage foam cells loaded with modified/oxidized lipids is implicated in destabilization of advanced atherosclerotic plaques in humans. Concentration of HNE, main aldehydic product of plasma LDL peroxidation, elevates in atherosclerotic lesions as well as in cultured cells under oxidative stress. Although this reactive aldehyde has been shown to promote apoptosis with the involvement of p38 MAPK and JNK in various mammalian cell lines, roles of B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2) family proteins remain to be deciphered. We demonstrated that HNE-induced apoptosis was accompanied by concurrent downregulations of antiapoptotic Bcl-x(L) and Mcl-1 as well as upregulation of proapoptotic Bak. Furthermore, phoshorylation of Bcl-2 at Thr56, Ser70, and probably more phosphorylation sites located on N-terminal loop domain associated with HNE-induced apoptosis in both U937 and HeLa cells while ectopic expression of a phospho-defective Bcl-2 mutant significantly attenuated apoptosis. In parallel to this, HNE treatment caused release of proapoptotic Bax from Bcl-2. Pharmacological inhbition of IKK inhibited HNE-induced Bcl-2 phosphorylation. Similarly, silencing IKKα and -β both ended up with abrogation of Bcl-2 phosphorylation along with attenuation of apoptosis. Moreover, both IKKα and -β coimmunoprecipitated with Bcl-2 and in vitro kinase assay proved the ability of IKK to phosphorylate Bcl-2. In view of these findings and considering HNE inhibits DNA-binding activity of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) through prevention of IκB phosphorylation/ubiquitination/proteolysis, IKK appears to directly interfere with Bcl-2 activity through phosphorylation in HNE-mediated apoptosis independent of NF-κB signaling.
    Journal of Cellular Physiology 11/2012; 227(11):3556-65. DOI:10.1002/jcp.24057 · 3.84 Impact Factor
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