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Involvement of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathway in the rapid induction of the 78-kDa glucose-regulated protein in 9L rat brain tumor cells

Involvement of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathway in the rapid induction of the 78-kDa glucose-regulated protein in 9L rat brain tumor cells

Journal of Biological Chemistry 273(2): 749-755

ISSN/ISBN: 0021-9258

PMID: 9422727

DOI: 10.1074/jbc.273.2.749

We have previously shown that treatment with okadaic acid (OA) followed by heat shock (HS) (termed OA --> HS treatment) leads to rapid transactivation of the 78-kDa glucose-regulated protein gene (grp78) in 9L rat brain tumor cells. A cAMP-responsive element-like (CRE-like, TGACGTGA) promoter sequence and a protein kinase A signaling pathway are involved in this induction, and activation of both CRE binding protein (CREB) and activating transcription factor-2 (ATF-2) is required in the above process. Herein, we report that transactivation of grp78, as well as phosphorylation/activation of ATF-2, can be completely annihilated by SB203580, a highly specific inhibitor of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38(MAPK)). Activation of p38(MAPK) by OA --> HS is also substantiated by its own phosphorylation as well as the phosphorylation and activation of MAPK activating protein kinase-2 in cells subjected to this treatment. The involvement of p38(MAPK) in the activation of ATF-2, which leads to the transactivation of rat grp78, is confirmed by electrophoretic mobility shift assay using a probe containing the CRE-like sequence as well as by transient transfection assays with a plasmid containing a 710-base pair stretch of the grp78 promoter. Together with our previous studies, these results led us to conclude that phosphorylation/activation of CREB upon OA --> HS treatment is mediated by cAMP-dependent protein kinase, whereas that of ATF-2 is mediated by p38(MAPK). The transcription factors may bind to each other to form heterodimers that in turn transactivate grp78 by binding to the CRE-like element. This suggests that distinct signaling pathways converge on CREB-ATF-2, where each subunit is individually activated by a specific class of protein kinases. This may allow modulation of grp78 transactivation by diverse external stimuli.

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Accession: 008915976

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