Calcium-activated RAF/MEK/ERK signaling pathway mediates p53-dependent apoptosis and is abrogated by alpha B-crystallin through inhibition of RAS activation.
ABSTRACT The ocular lens is the only organ that does not develop spontaneous tumor. The molecular mechanism for this phenomenon remains unknown. Through examination of the signaling pathways mediating stress-induced apoptosis, here we presented evidence to show that different from most other tissues in which the extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERKs) pathway is generally implicated in mediation of survival signals activated by different factors, the RAF/MEK/ERK signaling pathway alone plays a key role in stress-activated apoptosis of lens epithelial cells. Treatment of N/N1003A cells with calcimycin, a calcium mobilizer, activates the RAF/MEK/ERK pathway through RAS, which is indispensable for the induced apoptosis because inhibition of this pathway by either pharmacological drug or dominant negative mutants greatly attenuates the induced apoptosis. Calcimycin also activates p38 kinase and JNK2, which are not involved in calcium-induced apoptosis. Downstream of ERK activation, p53 is essential. Activation of RAF/MEK/ERK pathway by calcimycin leads to distinct up-regulation of p53. Moreover, overexpression of p53 enhances calcimycin-induced apoptosis, whereas inhibition of p53 expression attenuates calcimycin-induced apoptosis. Up-regulation of p53 directly promotes Bax expression, which changes the integrity of mitochondria, leading to release of cytochrome c, activation of caspase-3 and eventually execution of apoptosis. Overexpression of alphaB-crystallin, a member of the small heat-shock protein family, blocks activation of RAS to inhibit ERK1/2 activation, and greatly attenuates calcimycin-induced apoptosis. Together, our results provide 1) a partial explanation for the lack of spontaneous tumor in the lens, 2) a novel signaling pathway for calcium-induced apoptosis, and 3) a novel antiapoptotic mechanism for alphaB-crystallin.
Article: Post-natal lethality and neurological and gastrointestinal defects in mice with targeted disruption of the A-Raf protein kinase gene.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The Ras/Raf/MEK/MAP kinase cascade transmits signals from activated cell-surface receptors to transcription factors in the nucleus and is an essential component of metazoan intracellular signaling pathways (see, for example, [1-6]). In the mouse, the Raf protein kinase family is comprised of three homologous genes, Raf-1, A-Raf and B-Raf  which are ubiquitously expressed in the developing embryo . We have introduced into the mouse germ line a loss-of-function mutation in the X-chromosomal A-Raf gene, by homologous recombination in embryonic stem cells. On a predominantly C57 Bl/6 genetic background, A-Raf-deficient mice displayed neurological and intestinal abnormalities and died between 7 and 21 days post-partum. When the mutated allele was maintained on a predominantly 129/OLA background, by contrast, A-Raf-deficient animals survived to adulthood, did not display obvious intestinal abnormalities, were fertile, but did have a subset of the neurological defects.Current Biology 06/1996; 6(5):614-7. · 9.65 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Raf-1 is a 74-kD serine/threonine kinase located in the cell cytoplasm that is activated by phosphorylation in cells stimulated with a variety of mitogens and growth factors, including hematopoietic growth factors. Using c-raf antisense oligonucleotides to block Raf-1 expression, we have established that Raf-1 is required for hematopoietic growth factor-induced proliferation of murine cell lines stimulated by growth factors whose receptors are members of several different structural classes: (a) the hematopoietin receptor family, including interleukin (IL)-2, IL-3, IL-4, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, granulocyte/macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), and erythropoietin; (b) the tyrosine kinase receptor class, including Steel factor and CSF-1; and (c) IL-6, leukemia inhibitory factor, and oncostatin M, whose receptors include the gp130 receptor subunit. Although results of previous experiments had suggested that IL-4 does not phosphorylate or activate the Raf-1 kinase, c-raf antisense oligonucleotides inhibited IL-4-induced proliferation of both myeloid and T cell lines, and IL-4 activated Raf-1 kinase activity in an IL-4-dependent myeloid cell line. In colony assays, c-raf antisense oligonucleotides completely inhibited colony formation of unseparated normal murine bone marrow cells stimulated with either IL-3 or CSF-1 and partially inhibited cells stimulated with GM-CSF. In addition, c-raf antisense oligonucleotides completely inhibited both IL-3- and GM-CSF-induced colony formation of CD34+ purified human progenitors stimulated with these same growth factors. Thus, Raf-1 is required for growth factor-induced proliferation of leukemic murine progenitor cell lines and normal murine and human bone marrow-derived progenitor cells regardless of the growth factor used to stimulate cell growth.Journal of Experimental Medicine 07/1995; 181(6):2189-99. · 13.85 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The Gram-negative bacterial pathogen Shigella flexneri causes dysentery by invading the human colonic mucosa. Bacteria are phagocytosed by enterocytes, escape from the phagosome into the cytoplasm and spread to adjacent cells. After crossing the epithelium, Shigella reaches the lamina propria of intestinal villi, the first line of defence. This tissue is densely populated with phagocytes that are killed in great numbers, resulting in abscesses. The genes required for cell invasion and macrophage killing are located on a 220-kilobase plasmid. We report here on the mechanism of cytotoxicity used by S. flexneri to kill macrophages. Each of four different strains was tested for its capacity to induce cell death. An invasive strain induced programmed cell death (apoptosis), whereas its non-invasive, plasmidcured isogenic strain was not toxic; neither was a mutant in ipa B (ref. 10) (invasion protein antigen), a gene necessary for entry. A non-invasive strain expressing the haemolysin operon of Escherichia coli induced accidental cell death (necrosis), demonstrating that other bacterial cytotoxic mechanisms do not lead to apoptosis. This is the first evidence that an invasive bacterial pathogen can induce suicide in its host cells.Nature 08/1992; 358(6382):167-9. · 36.28 Impact Factor