Inducible expression of a MAP kinase phosphatase-3-GFP chimera specifically blunts fibroblast growth and ras-dependent tumor formation in nude mice.
ABSTRACT The p42/p44 mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway participates in a wide range of cellular programs including proliferation, migration, differentiation, and survival. Specific pharmacological inhibitors, like PD98059 and U0126, are often used to inhibit p42/p44 MAPK signaling. However, these inhibitors are not appropriate to study the function of these kinases in whole organisms. We thus developed an inducible system designed to inhibit p42/p44 MAPK activity through the expression of a phosphatase specific for these two kinases, the MAPK phosphatase 3 (MKP-3). A fibroblast cell line was established in which MKP-3 expression is controlled by tetracycline. Tetracycline-induced MKP-3 resulted in partial de-phosphorylation of p42/p44 MAPKs in serum-stimulated cells. However, we could improve MKP-3 stability and thereby the rate of MAPK de-phosphorylation, when the C-terminal end of MKP-3 was fused to the green fluorescent protein (GFP). Importantly, the fusion of GFP to MKP-3 did not alter the specificity of the phosphatase towards its MAPK substrates. We further show that conditional expression of MKP-3-GFP in this fibroblast cell line results in the inhibition of: (a) the phosphorylation of the p42/p44 MAPK substrates Elk1 and HIF-1alpha, (b) vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), cyclin D1, and c-fos gene transcription in response to MAPK pathway activation, and (c) cell proliferation. Finally, the MKP-3-GFP inducible cell line was transformed by Ha-ras and injected into nude mice. Treatment of mice with the tetracycline analog doxycycline resulted in a large delay in tumor emergence and growth as compared to the untreated control group, indicating that MKP-3-GFP activity is maintained in vivo. Altogether, these results show that inducible expression of MKP-3-GFP constitutes a valuable tool to study the role of p42/p44 MAPKs in various cellular responses in both cultured cell and animal models, a tool that may also be used to block unwanted cell growth in pathological conditions.
Article: Dual role of Sp3 transcription factor as an inducer of apoptosis and a marker of tumour aggressiveness.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The ambiguous role of transcription factor Sp3 for tumour progression is still debated since it was described as a transcriptional repressor or activator. Here we tried to decipher the molecular mechanisms implicated in Sp3 accumulation observed in aggressive tumours. We generated normal and tumour cell lines conditionally expressing Sp3. Cell growth was analyzed in vitro and after inoculation in nude mice. Apoptosis was assessed by pan- caspase activity assays, by counting fragmented nuclei and by determination of caspase 9 cleavage. Gene expression was determined by quantitative PCR. Cleavage by different caspases was performed after in vitro translation of the Sp3 cDNA in the presence of [S(35)] labelled methionine. Different tumour cell lines and head and neck tumour samples were tested for the presence of Sp3 by western blots. Correlation between Sp3 expression and overall survival has been statistically determined. Conditional over-expression of Sp3 induces apoptosis and modifies expression of genes implicated in the regulation of cell cycle and pro and anti apoptotic genes. Sp3 over-expression strongly reduces the development of tumours in nude mice confirming its pro-apoptotic potential in vivo. However, cells can survive to apoptosis through selective Sp3 cleavage by caspase. Sp3 induction in established tumours resulted in transient regression then progression. Progression coincides with re-accumulation of the full length form of Sp3. Sp3 is over-expressed in tumour cell lines of different origins. The presence of high levels of the full-length form of Sp3 indicates a poor prognosis for overall survival of patients with head and neck tumours. Full length Sp3 accumulation highlights bypass of tumour cell apoptotic capacities and is indicative of head and neck tumours aggressiveness.PLoS ONE 02/2009; 4(2):e4478. · 4.09 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: There are ten mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) phosphatases (MKPs) that act as negative regulators of MAPK activity in mammalian cells and these can be subdivided into three groups. The first comprises DUSP1/MKP-1, DUSP2/PAC1, DUSP4/MKP-2 and DUSP5/hVH-3, which are inducible nuclear phosphatases. With the exception of DUSP5, these MKPs display a rather broad specificity for inactivation of the ERK, p38 and JNK MAP kinases. The second group contains three closely related ERK-specific and cytoplasmic MKPs encoded by DUSP6/MKP-3, DUSP7/MKP-X and DUSP9/MKP-4. The final group consists of three MKPs DUSP8/hVH-5, DUSP10/MKP-5 and DUSP16/MKP-7 all of which preferentially inactivate the stress-activated p38 and JNK MAP kinases. Abnormal MAPK signalling will have important consequences for processes critical to the development and progression of human cancer. In addition, MAPK signalling also plays a key role in determining the response of tumour cells to conventional cancer therapies. The emerging roles of the dual-specificity MKPs in the regulation of MAPK activities in normal tissues has highlighted the possible pathophysiological consequences of either loss (or gain) of function of these enzymes as part of the oncogenic process. This review summarises the current evidence implicating the dual-specificity MKPs in the initiation and development of cancer and also on the outcome of treatment.Cancer and metastasis reviews 07/2008; 27(2):253-61. · 10.57 Impact Factor
Article: Extracellular signal-regulated kinases phosphorylate mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphatase 3/DUSP6 at serines 159 and 197, two sites critical for its proteasomal degradation.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase phosphatases (MKPs) are dual-specificity phosphatases that dephosphorylate phosphothreonine and phosphotyrosine residues within MAP kinases. Here, we describe a novel posttranslational mechanism for regulating MKP-3/Pyst1/DUSP6, a member of the MKP family that is highly specific for extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) inactivation. Using a fibroblast model in which the expression of either MKP-3 or a more stable MKP-3-green fluorescent protein (GFP) chimera was induced by tetracycline, we found that serum induces the phosphorylation of MKP-3 and its subsequent degradation by the proteasome in a MEK1 and MEK2 (MEK1/2)-ERK1/2-dependent manner. In vitro phosphorylation assays using glutathione S-transferase (GST)-MKP-3 fusion proteins indicated that ERK2 could phosphorylate MKP-3 on serines 159 and 197. Tetracycline-inducible cell clones expressing either single or double serine mutants of MKP-3 or MKP-3-GFP confirmed that these two sites are targeted by the MEK1/2-ERK1/2 module in vivo. Double serine mutants of MKP-3 or MKP-3-GFP were more efficiently protected from degradation than single mutants or wild-type MKP-3, indicating that phosphorylation of either serine by ERK1/2 enhances proteasomal degradation of MKP-3. Hence, double mutation caused a threefold increase in the half-life of MKP-3. Finally, we show that the phosphorylation of MKP-3 has no effect on its catalytic activity. Thus, ERK1/2 exert a positive feedback loop on their own activity by promoting the degradation of MKP-3, one of their major inactivators in the cytosol, a situation opposite to that described for the nuclear phosphatase MKP-1.Molecular and Cellular Biology 02/2005; 25(2):854-64. · 5.53 Impact Factor