Glucocorticoid receptor dimerization induces MKP1 to protect against TNF-induced inflammation.
ABSTRACT: Glucocorticoids acting through the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) inhibit TNF-induced lethal inflammation. Here, we demonstrate that GR dimerization plays a role in reducing TNF sensitivity. In mutant mice unable to dimerize GR, we found that TNF failed to induce MAPK phosphatase 1 (MKP1). We assessed TNF sensitivity in Mkp1(-/-) mice and found increased inflammatory gene induction in livers, increased circulating cytokines, cell death in intestinal epithelium, severe intestinal inflammation, hypothermia, and death. Mkp1(-/-) mice had increased levels of phosphorylated JNK, which promotes apoptosis, in liver tissue. We further examined JNK-deficient mice for their response to TNF. Although Jnk1(-/-) mice showed no change in sensitivity to TNF, Jnk2(-/-) mice were significantly protected against TNF, identifying JNK2 as an essential player in inflammation induced by TNF. Furthermore, we found that loss of Jnk2 partially rescued the increased sensitivity of Mkp1(-/-) and mutant GR mice to TNF. Our data show that GR dimerization inhibits JNK2 through MKP1 and protects from TNF-induced apoptosis and lethal inflammation.
Project description:Developing sympathetic neurons depend on NGF for survival. When sympathetic neurons are deprived of NGF in vitro, a well documented series of events, including c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) pathway activation, release of cytochrome c from the mitochondria, and caspase activation, culminates in the death of the neuron by apoptosis within 24-48 h. This process requires de novo gene expression, suggesting that increased expression of specific genes activates the cell death program. Using rat gene microarrays, we found that NGF withdrawal induces the expression of many genes, including mkp1, which encodes a MAPK phosphatase that can dephosphorylate JNKs. The increase in mkp1 mRNA level requires the MLK-JNK-c-Jun pathway, and we show that Mkp1 is an important regulator of JNK-dependent apoptosis in sympathetic neurons. In microinjection experiments, Mkp1 overexpression can inhibit JNK-mediated phosphorylation of c-Jun and protect sympathetic neurons from apoptosis, while Mkp1 knockdown accelerates NGF withdrawal-induced death. Accordingly, the number of superior cervical ganglion (SCG) neurons is reduced in mkp1-/- mice at P1 during the period of developmental sympathetic neuron death. We also show that c-Jun and ATF2 bind to two conserved ATF binding sites in the mkp1 promoter in vitro and in chromatin. Both of these ATF sites contribute to basal promoter activity and are required for mkp1 promoter induction after NGF withdrawal. These results demonstrate that Mkp1 is part of a negative feedback loop induced by the MLK-JNK-c-Jun signaling pathway that modulates JNK activity and the rate of neuronal death in rat sympathetic neurons following NGF withdrawal.
Project description:Glucocorticoids (GCs) block inflammation via interference of the liganded glucocorticoid receptor (GR) with the activity of pro-inflammatory transcription factors NF-κB and AP-1, a mechanism known as transrepression. This mechanism is believed to involve the activity of GR monomers. Here, we explored how the GR monomer-favoring Compound A (CpdA) affects AP-1 activation and activity. Our results demonstrate that non-steroidal CpdA, unlike classic steroidal GCs, blocks NF-κB- but not AP-1-driven gene expression. CpdA rather sustains AP-1-driven gene expression, a result which could mechanistically be explained by the failure of CpdA to block upstream JNK kinase activation and concomitantly also phosphorylation of c-Jun. In concordance and in contrast to DEX, CpdA maintained the expression of the activated AP-1 target gene c-jun, as well as the production of the c-Jun protein. As for the underlying mechanism, GR is a necessary intermediate in the CpdA-mediated gene expression of AP-1-regulated genes, but seems to be superfluous to CpdA-mediated JNK phosphorylation prolongation. The latter phenomenon concurs with the inability of CpdA to stimulate DUSP1 gene expression. ChIP analysis demonstrates that DEX-activated GR, but not CpdA-activated GR, is recruited to AP-1-driven promoters. Furthermore, in mice we observed that CpdA instigates a strong enhancement of TNF-induced AP-1-driven gene expression. Finally, we demonstrate that this phenomenon coincides with an increased sensitivity towards TNF lethality, and implicate again a role for JNK2. In conclusion, our data support the hypothesis that a ligand-induced differential conformation of GR yields a different transcription factor cross-talk profile.
Project description:The MAPK phosphatase MKP1 (DUSP1) is overexpressed in many human cancers, including chemoresistant and radioresistant breast cancer cells, but its functional contributions in these settings are unclear. Here, we report that after cell irradiation, MKP1 translocates into mitochondria, where it prevents apoptotic induction by limiting accumulation of phosphorylated active forms of the stress kinase JNK. Increased levels of mitochondrial MKP1 after irradiation occurred in the mitochondrial inner membrane space. Notably, cell survival regulated by mitochondrial MKP1 was responsible for conferring radioresistance in HER2-overexpressing breast cancer cells, due to the fact that MKP1 serves as a major downstream effector in the HER2-activated RAF-MEK-ERK pathway. Clinically, we documented MKP1 expression exclusively in HER2-positive breast tumors, relative to normal adjacent tissue from the same patients. MKP1 overexpression was also detected in irradiated HER2-positive breast cancer stem-like cells (HER2(+)/CD44(+)/CD24(-/low)) isolated from a radioresistant breast cancer cell population after long-term radiation treatment. MKP1 silencing reduced clonogenic survival and enhanced radiosensitivity in these stem-like cells. Combined inhibition of MKP1 and HER2 enhanced cell killing in breast cancer. Together, our findings identify a new mechanism of resistance in breast tumors and reveal MKP1 as a novel therapeutic target for radiosensitization.
Project description:Elucidation of factors regulating glucocorticoid (GC) sensitivity is required for the development of "steroid-sparing" therapies for chronic inflammatory diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Accumulating evidence suggests that macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) counterregulates the GC-induction of anti-inflammatory mediators, including mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphatase 1 (MKP1), a critical mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling inhibitor. This observation has yet to be extended to human disease; the molecular mechanisms remain unknown. We investigated NURR1, a GC-responsive transcription factor overexpressed in RA, as a MIF signaling target. We reveal abrogation by recombinant MIF (rMIF) of GC-induced MKP1 expression in RA fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS). rMIF enhanced NURR1 expression, artificial NBRE (orphan receptor DNA-binding site) reporter transactivation, and reversed GC-inhibition of NURR1. NURR1 expression was reduced during experimental arthritis in MIF-/- synovium, and silencing MIF reduced RA FLS NURR1 mRNA. Consistent with NBRE identification on the MKP1 gene, MKP1 mRNA was reduced in FLS that ectopically express NURR1, and silencing NURR1 enhanced MKP1 mRNA in RA FLS. rMIF enhanced NBRE binding on the MKP1 gene, and the absence of the NBRE prevented NURR1-repressive effects on basal and GC-induced MKP1 transactivation. This study defines NURR1 as a novel MIF target in chronic inflammation and demonstrates a role for NURR1 in regulating the anti-inflammatory mediator, MKP1. We propose a MIF-NURR1 signaling axis as a regulator of the GC sensitivity of MKP1.
Project description:c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) plays a pivotal role in the development of the metabolic syndrome including nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. However, the mechanism underlying the contribution of JNK to the progression from simple steatosis to steatohepatitis and liver fibrosis is unresolved.Hepatic steatosis, inflammation, and fibrosis were examined in wild-type, jnk1(-/-), or jnk2(-/-) mice fed a choline-deficient L-amino acid-defined (CDAA) diet for 20 weeks. The functional contribution of JNK isoforms in Kupffer cells was assessed in vitro and in vivo using chimeric mice in which the hematopoietic compartment including Kupffer cells was replaced by wild-type, jnk1(-/-), or jnk2(-/-) cells.CDAA diet induced significantly less hepatic inflammation and less liver fibrosis despite a similar level of hepatic steatosis in jnk1(-/-) mice as compared with wild-type or jnk2(-/-) mice. CDAA diet-induced hepatic inflammation was chronic and mediated by Kupffer cells. Pharmacologic inhibition of JNK or gene deletion of jnk1 but not jnk2 repressed the expression of inflammatory and fibrogenic mediators in primary Kupffer cells. In vivo, CDAA diet induced less hepatic inflammation and liver fibrosis despite an equivalent level of hepatic steatosis in chimeric mice with jnk1(-/-) hematopoietic cells as compared with chimeric mice with wild-type or jnk2(-/-) hematopoietic cells.jnk1(-/-) mice are resistant to diet-induced steatohepatitis and liver fibrosis. JNK1 in hematopoietic cells, especially in Kupffer cells, contributes to the development of liver fibrosis by inducing chronic inflammation.
Project description:The adenoviral gene E1a is known to enhance the antitumor effect of cisplatin, one of the cornerstones of the current cancer chemotherapy. Here we study the molecular basis of E1a mediated sensitivity to cisplatin in an experimental model of Non-small cell lung cancer. Our data show how E1a blocks the induction of autophagy triggered by cisplatin and promotes the apoptotic response in resistant cells. Interestingly, at the molecular level, we present evidences showing how the phosphatase MKP1 is a major determinant of cisplatin sensitivity and its upregulation is strictly required for the induction of chemosensitivity mediated by E1a. Indeed, E1a is almost unable to promote sensitivity in H460, in which the high expression of MKP1 remains unaffected by E1a. However, in resistant cell as H1299, H23 or H661, which display low levels of MKP1, E1a expression promotes a dramatic increase in the amount of MKP1 correlating with cisplatin sensitivity. Furthermore, effective knock down of MKP1 in H1299 E1a expressing cells restores resistance to a similar extent than parental cells. In summary, the present work reinforce the critical role of MKP1 in the cellular response to cisplatin highlighting the importance of this phosphatase in future gene therapy approach based on E1a gene.
Project description:Solar UV radiation is a major environmental factor that causes DNA damage, inflammation, and even skin cancer. T-LAK cell-originated protein kinase (TOPK) is expressed widely in both normal and cancer cells and functions to inhibit apoptosis and promote carcinogenesis. However, its function in inflammation is not known. The p38 MAPK signaling pathway plays an important role in solar UV light-induced inflammation. In this study, we found that TOPK negatively regulated the activity of p38? by phosphorylating the p38?-specific phosphatase MKP1 and enhancing the stability of MKP1. Notably, the absence of TOPK in mice resulted in a striking increase in skin inflammation. Therefore, we conclude that TOPK has a protective function in solar UV light-induced inflammation.
Project description:Stress responses promote obesity and insulin resistance, in part, by activating the stress-responsive mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), p38 MAPK, and c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK). Stress also induces expression of MAPK phosphatase-1 (MKP-1), which inactivates both JNK and p38 MAPK. However, the equilibrium between JNK/p38 MAPK and MKP-1 signaling in the development of obesity and insulin resistance is unclear. Skeletal muscle is a major tissue involved in energy expenditure and glucose metabolism. In skeletal muscle, MKP-1 is upregulated in high-fat diet-fed mice and in skeletal muscle of obese humans. Mice lacking skeletal muscle expression of MKP-1 (MKP1-MKO) showed increased skeletal muscle p38 MAPK and JNK activities and were resistant to the development of diet-induced obesity. MKP1-MKO mice exhibited increased whole-body energy expenditure that was associated with elevated levels of myofiber-associated mitochondrial oxygen consumption. miR-21, a negative regulator of PTEN expression, was upregulated in skeletal muscle of MKP1-MKO mice, resulting in increased Akt activity consistent with enhanced insulin sensitivity. Our results demonstrate that skeletal muscle MKP-1 represents a critical signaling node through which inactivation of the p38 MAPK/JNK module promotes obesity and insulin resistance.
Project description:Liver metabolism undergoes robust circadian oscillations in gene expression and enzymatic activity essential for liver homeostasis, but whether the circadian clock controls homeostatic self-renewal of hepatocytes is unknown. Here we show that hepatocyte polyploidization is markedly accelerated around the central vein, the site of permanent cell self-renewal, in mice deficient in circadian Period genes. In these mice, a massive accumulation of hyperpolyploid mononuclear and binuclear hepatocytes occurs due to impaired mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphatase 1 (Mkp1)-mediated circadian modulation of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (Erk1/2) activity. Time-lapse imaging of hepatocytes suggests that the reduced activity of Erk1/2 in the midbody during cytokinesis results in abscission failure, leading to polyploidization. Manipulation of Mkp1 phosphatase activity is sufficient to change the ploidy level of hepatocytes. These data provide clear evidence that the Period genes not only orchestrate dynamic changes in metabolic activity, but also regulate homeostatic self-renewal of hepatocytes through Mkp1-Erk1/2 signaling pathway.
Project description:The c-Jun NH(2)-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling pathway has been implicated in the development of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-dependent hepatitis. JNK may play a critical role in hepatocytes during TNF-stimulated cell death in vivo. To test this hypothesis, we examined the phenotype of mice with compound disruption of the Jnk1 and Jnk2 genes. Mice with loss of JNK1/2 expression in hepatocytes exhibited no defects in the development of hepatitis compared with control mice, whereas mice with loss of JNK1/2 in the hematopoietic compartment exhibited a profound defect in hepatitis that was associated with markedly reduced expression of TNF-alpha. These data indicate that JNK is required for TNF-alpha expression but not for TNF-alpha-stimulated death of hepatocytes. Indeed, TNF-alpha induced similar hepatic damage in both mice with hepatocyte-specific JNK1/2 deficiency and control mice. These observations confirm a role for JNK in the development of hepatitis but identify hematopoietic cells as the site of the essential function of JNK.