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Macrophages regulate innate immunity to maintain intestinal homeostasis and play pathological roles in intestinal inflammation. Activation of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) promotes cellular proliferation, differentiation, survival, and wound closure in several cell types. However, the impact of EGFR in macrophages remains unclear. This study was to investigate whether EGFR activation in macrophages regulates cytokine production and intestinal inflammation. We found that EGFR was activated in colonic macrophages in mice with dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis and in patients with ulcerative colitis. DSS-induced acute colitis was ameliorated, and recovery from colitis was promoted in Egfr(fl/fl)LysM-Cre mice with myeloid cell-specific deletion of EGFR, compared with LysM-Cre mice. DSS treatment increased IL-10 and TNF levels during the acute phase of colitis, and increased IL-10 but reduced TNF levels during the recovery phase in Egfr(fl/fl)LysM-Cre mice. An anti-IL-10 neutralizing Ab abolished these effects of macrophage-specific EGFR deletion on DSS-induced colitis in Egfr(fl/fl)LysM-Cre mice. LPS stimulated EGFR activation and inhibition of EGFR kinase activity enhanced LPS-stimulated NF-κB activation in RAW 264.7 macrophages. Furthermore, induction of IL-10 production by EGFR kinase-blocked RAW 264.7 cells, in response to LPS plus IFN-γ, correlated with decreased TNF production. Thus, although selective deletion of EGFR in macrophages leads to increases in both pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines in response to inflammatory stimuli, the increase in the IL-10 level plays a role in suppressing proinflammatory cytokine production, resulting in protection of mice from intestinal inflammation. These results reveal an integrated response of macrophages regulated by EGFR in intestinal inflammatory disorders.
While transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β1)-induced SMAD2/3 signaling is a critical event in the progression of chronic kidney disease, the role of non-SMAD mechanisms in the orchestration of fibrotic gene changes remains largely unexplored. TGF-β1/SMAD3 pathway activation in renal fibrosis (induced by ureteral ligation) correlated with epidermal growth factor receptor(Y845) (EGFR(Y845)) and p53(Ser15) phosphorylation and induction of disease causative target genes plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) and connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) prompting an investigation of the mechanistic involvement of EGFR and tumor suppressor p53 in profibrotic signaling. TGF-β1, PAI-1, CTGF, p53 and EGFR were co-expressed in the obstructed kidney localizing predominantly to the tubular and interstitial compartments. Indeed, TGF-β1 activated EGFR and p53 as well as SMAD2/3. Genetic deficiency of either EGFR or p53 or functional blockade with AG1478 or Pifithrin-α, respectively, effectively inhibited PAI-1and CTGF induction and morphological transformation of renal fibroblasts as did SMAD3 knockdown or pretreatment with the SMAD3 inhibitor SIS3. Reactive oxygen species (ROS)-dependent mechanisms initiated by TGF-β1 were critical for EGFR(Y845) and p53(Ser15) phosphorylation and target gene expression. The p22(Phox) subunit of NADPH oxidase was also elevated in the fibrotic kidney with an expression pattern similar to p53 and EGFR. EGF stimulation alone initiated, albeit delayed, c-terminal SMAD3 phosphorylation (that required the TGF-β1 receptor) and rapid ERK2 activation both of which are necessary for PAI-1 and CTGF induction in renal fibroblasts. These data highlight the extensive cross-talk among SMAD2/3, EGFR and p53 pathways essential for expression of TGF-β1-induced fibrotic target genes.
Following the addition of EGF or ionomycin to A431 cells, protease activity mediates cleavage of the EGF receptor producing a 60 kDa fragment that includes the intracellular domain (ICD). This fragment is located in both membrane and nuclear fractions. On the basis of sensitivity to chemical inhibitors and overexpression of cDNAs, the rhomboid intramembrane proteases, not γ-secretase proteases, are identified as responsible for the cleavage event. Agonist-initiated cleavage occurs slowly over 3-24 h. Inhibition of calpain protease activity significantly increased the detectable level of ICD fragment.
© 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S.
The intracellular domain of ErbB4 receptor tyrosine kinase is known to translocate to the nucleus of cells where it can regulate p53 transcriptional activity. The purpose of this study was to examine whether ErbB4 can localize to the nucleus of adult rat ventricular myocytes (ARVM), and regulate p53 in these cells. We demonstrate that ErbB4 does locate to the nucleus of cardiac myocytes as a full-length protein, although nuclear location occurs as a full-length protein that does not require Protein Kinase C or γ-secretase activity. Consistent with this we found that only the non-cleavable JM-b isoform of ErbB4 is expressed in ARVM. Doxorubicin was used to examine ErbB4 role in regulation of a DNA damage response in ARVM. Doxorubicin induced p53 and p21 was suppressed by treatment with AG1478, an EGFR and ErbB4 kinase inhibitor, or suppression of ErbB4 expression with small interfering RNA. Thus ErbB4 localizes to the nucleus as a full-length protein, and plays a role in the DNA damage response induced by doxorubicin in cardiac myocytes.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Probiotic bacteria can potentially have beneficial effects on the clinical course of several intestinal disorders, but our understanding of probiotic action is limited. We have identified a probiotic bacteria-derived soluble protein, p40, from Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG), which prevents cytokine-induced apoptosis in intestinal epithelial cells. In the current study, we analyzed the mechanisms by which p40 regulates cellular responses in intestinal epithelial cells and p40's effects on experimental colitis using mouse models. We show that the recombinant p40 protein activated EGFR, leading to Akt activation. Activation of EGFR by p40 was required for inhibition of cytokine-induced apoptosis in intestinal epithelial cells in vitro and ex vivo. Furthermore, we developed a pectin/zein hydrogel bead system to specifically deliver p40 to the mouse colon, which activated EGFR in colon epithelial cells. Administration of p40-containing beads reduced intestinal epithelial apoptosis and disruption of barrier function in the colon epithelium in an EGFR-dependent manner, thereby preventing and treating DSS-induced intestinal injury and acute colitis. Furthermore, p40 activation of EGFR was required for ameliorating colon epithelial cell apoptosis and chronic inflammation in oxazolone-induced colitis. These data define what we believe to be a previously unrecognized mechanism of probiotic-derived soluble proteins in protecting the intestine from injury and inflammation.
Notch3 is a member of an evolutionarily conserved family of cell surface receptors important in cell-fate determination in both vertebrates and invertebrates. Significant data support the role of Notch pathway in cancer development, although the conflicting role of Notch signaling pathways in tumorigenesis suggests that its action is highly context-dependent. Furthermore, although Notch receptors signal primarily through the regulation of hairy enhancer of split (HES) and HES-related (HRT) genes, they are known to crosstalk with other signaling pathways, including the epidermal growth factor (EGF) and the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways. Whereas much is known about the role of Notch1 in human cancer, the role of Notch3 in epithelial tumors, such as lung carcinomas, has not been well established. In this study, we show that Notch3 is expressed in 80 of 207 (39%) resected human lung tumors and that its expression is positively correlated with EGF receptor expression. Inhibition of the Notch3 pathway using a dominant-negative receptor dramatically reduces growth in soft agar and increases growth factor dependence. We also find that Notch inhibition increases sensitivity to EGF receptor tyrosine kinase inhibition and decrease in phosphorylation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase. These observations support a role for Notch3 signaling in lung cancer, and one potential mechanism of maintaining the neoplastic phenotype is through the modulation of the EGF pathway.
PURPOSE - Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a potent mitogen for micro- and macrovascular endothelial cells (ECs). Evidence points to a possible role for two mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases, the extracellular-signal responsive kinases (ERK)-1 and -2, in VEGF signaling in ECs. This study was undertaken to begin to define the precise role of MAP kinases in VEGF signal transduction related to angiogenesis.
METHODS - Bovine retinal microvascular endothelial cells (BRMECs) and a well-established rat model of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) were used to investigate the role of ERK-1/2 in EC proliferation and tube formation and in retinal angiogenesis in vivo.
RESULTS - Administration of VEGF to BRMEC cultures increased ERK-1/2 phosphorylation, cell proliferation, and tube formation in a dose-dependent manner. Phosphorylation of retinal ERK-1/2 also was increased in the ROP model. An inhibitor of ERK, AG126, and an inhibitor of ERK kinase (MEK), PD98059, exhibited a dose-dependent reduction of ERK phosphorylation and EC proliferation, but not tube formation, in VEGF-stimulated BRMECs. In the ROP model, intravitreous injection of 10 micro M AG126 or PD98059 reduced the retinal neovascular area by 71% and 48%, respectfully. No effect was seen on intraretinal blood vessel growth.
CONCLUSIONS - These experiments point to a critical role for ERK and MEK in proliferation of ECs, but not in tube formation. Furthermore, inhibition of either of these two signal intermediates can significantly retard retinal neovascularization. This suggests that the MAPK pathway may provide rational targets for therapeutic intervention in ocular and other diseases with an angiogenic component.
C-myc availability is central for its ability to serve as a regulator of cell growth and death. Here we study the regulation of c-myc protein stability and identify domains of c-myc that are important for its stabilization in response to stress kinases activated following selective stress conditions. UV-irradiation elicited an increase in c-myc protein levels, which could be attenuated by inhibitors of stress kinases but also by actinomycin D-inhibitor of transcription. Inhibition of protein synthesis results in a noticeable decrease in c-myc levels, further pointing to the short half-life of the protein. However, in combination with tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), cycloheximide efficiently increases steady-state levels of c-myc, suggesting that selective stress conditions are required to increase c-myc protein stability. Expression of MEKK1, an upstream regulator of protein kinases that has been implicated in mediating the response to diverse stress conditions, also results in an efficient increase in the half-life of c-myc protein. To map c-myc domains that are responsive to stress kinases, we monitored changes in the level of c-myc deletion mutants following MEKK1 expression. Of the seven c-myc deletion mutants analysed, the domain spanning amino acids 127-189 was found to be required for MEKK1-dependent increase in c-myc stability. In all, the present study identifies a novel domain that is important for the regulation of c-myc stability by stress kinases in response to selective stress conditions.
G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) induce the phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase by actions on any of a number of signal transduction systems. Previous studies have revealed that activation of the G(q)-coupled metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5) induces phosphorylation of the MAP kinase extracellular signal-regulated kinase 2 (ERK2) in cultured rat cortical astrocytes. We performed a series of studies to determine the mechanisms underlying mGluR5-induced phosphorylation of MAP kinase in these cells. Interestingly, our studies suggest that mGluR5-mediated ERK2 phosphorylation is dependent on the activation of G(alphaq) but is not mediated by the activation of phospholipase Cbeta1, activation of protein kinase C, or increases in intracellular calcium. Studies with peptide inhibitors suggest that this response is not dependent on G(betagamma) subunits. However, the activation of ERK2 was dependent on activation of the epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor and activation of a Src family tyrosine kinase. Furthermore, activation of mGluR5 induced an association of this receptor and the EGF receptor, suggesting the formation of a signaling complex involved in the activation of ERK2. These data suggest that mGluR5 increases ERK2 phosphorylation in astrocytes by a novel mechanism involving the activation of G(alphaq) and both receptor and nonreceptor tyrosine kinases but that is independent of the activation of phospholipase Cbeta1.
It is well established that ErbB1 and ErbB2 can cooperate in mammary epithelial cell transformation. Therefore, to understand how ErbB1/ErbB2 signaling contributes to this process, we used the ErbB kinase inhibitor AG1478in ErbB2-dependent BT-474 and SKBR-3 human breast cancer cells. These cells overexpress ErbB2 and also display moderate levels of ErbB1. Treatment with AG1478 resulted in rapid ErbB2 dephosphorylation, reversible G(1) arrest, and interruption of constitutive mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt signaling. Consequently, both MAPK-dependent transcription of cyclin D1 and phosphorylation of the cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk) inhibitor p27 were inhibited. The inhibition of PI3K/Akt resulted in increased activity of glycogen synthase kinase-3beta, which phosphorylated cyclin D1, potentially reducing its steady-state levels. The loss of cyclin D1 reduced the amount of cyclin D1/Cdk4 complexes that can sequester p27 in the cytosol. This plus the reduced phosphorylation of p27 by MAPK enhanced the stability of p27 that associated with nuclear Cdk2 at high stoichiometry and inhibited its kinase activity. Antisense p27 oligonucleotides decreased p27 levels and abrogated the G(1) arrest induced by AG1478. Similarly, infection with an adenovirus encoding inducible cyclin D1 also counteracted the antiproliferative effect of AG1478. These data imply that: (a) modulation of both p27 and cyclin D1 are required for the growth arrest that results from blockade of the ErbB2 kinase; and (b) ErbB2 overexpressing cells use both MAPK and PI3K/Akt to modulate p27 and cyclin D1 and, hence, subvert the G(1)-to-S transition.