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Activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases is essential for hydrogen peroxide -induced apoptosis in retinal pigment epithelial cells



Activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases is essential for hydrogen peroxide -induced apoptosis in retinal pigment epithelial cells



Apoptosis 11(11): 1899-1908



Retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells are constantly exposed to oxidative injury while clearing byproducts of photoreceptor turnover, a circumstance thought to be responsible for degenerative retinal diseases. The mechanisms of hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2))-induced apoptosis in RPE cells are not fully understood. We studied signal transduction mechanisms of H(2)O(2)-induced apoptosis in the human RPE cell line ARPE-19. Activation of two stress kinases (JNK and p38) occurs during H(2)O(2) stimulation, and H(2)O(2)-mediated cell death was significantly reduced by their specific inhibition. Exposure to a lethal dose of H(2)O(2) elicited Bax translocation to the mitochondria and release of apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) from the mitochondria, both of which were abolished by either JNK- or p38-specific inhibitors. Both H(2)O(2)-induced cell death and JNK/p38 phosphorylation were partially inhibited by C. difficile toxin B, inhibitor of Rho, Rac, and cdc42. Use of pull-down assays revealed that the small GTPase activated by H(2)O(2) is Rac1. This study is the first to demonstrate that H(2)O(2) induces a Rac1/JNK1/p38 signaling cascade, and that JNK and p38 activation is important for H(2)O(2)-induced apoptosis as well as AIF/Bax translocation of RPE cells.

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Accession: 048164166

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 16927023

DOI: 10.1007/s10495-006-9403-6


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