Jnk1 Deficiency in Hematopoietic Cells Suppresses Macrophage Apoptosis and Increases Atherosclerosis in Low-Density Lipoprotein Receptor Null Mice.
ABSTRACT: The c-Jun NH2-terminal kinases (JNK) are regulated by a wide variety of cellular stresses and have been implicated in apoptotic signaling. Macrophages express 2 JNK isoforms, JNK1 and JNK2, which may have different effects on cell survival and atherosclerosis.To dissect the effect of macrophage JNK1 and JNK2 on early atherosclerosis, Ldlr(-/-) mice were reconstituted with wild-type, Jnk1(-/-), and Jnk2(-/-) hematopoietic cells and fed a high cholesterol diet. Jnk1(-/-)?Ldlr(-/-) mice have larger atherosclerotic lesions with more macrophages and fewer apoptotic cells than mice transplanted with wild-type or Jnk2(-/-) cells. Moreover, genetic ablation of JNK to a single allele (Jnk1(+/-)/Jnk2(-/-) or Jnk1(-/-)/Jnk2(+/-)) in marrow of Ldlr(-/-) recipients further increased atherosclerosis compared with Jnk1(-/-)?Ldlr(-/-) and wild-type?Ldlr(-/-) mice. In mouse macrophages, anisomycin-mediated JNK signaling antagonized Akt activity, and loss of Jnk1 gene obliterated this effect. Similarly, pharmacological inhibition of JNK1, but not JNK2, markedly reduced the antagonizing effect of JNK on Akt activity. Prolonged JNK signaling in the setting of endoplasmic reticulum stress gradually extinguished Akt and Bad activity in wild-type cells with markedly less effects in Jnk1(-/-) macrophages, which were also more resistant to apoptosis. Consequently, anisomycin increased and JNK1 inhibitors suppressed endoplasmic reticulum stress-mediated apoptosis in macrophages. We also found that genetic and pharmacological inhibition of phosphatase and tensin homolog abolished the JNK-mediated effects on Akt activity, indicating that phosphatase and tensin homolog mediates crosstalk between these pathways.Loss of Jnk1, but not Jnk2, in macrophages protects them from apoptosis, increasing cell survival, and this accelerates early atherosclerosis.
Project description:<h4>Objective</h4>The c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) family regulates fundamental physiological processes including apoptosis and metabolism. Although JNK2 is known to promote foam cell formation during atherosclerosis, the potential role of JNK1 is uncertain. We examined the potential influence of JNK1 and its negative regulator, MAP kinase phosphatase-1 (MKP-1), on endothelial cell (EC) injury and early lesion formation using hypercholesterolemic LDLR(-/-) mice.<h4>Methods and results</h4>To assess the function of JNK1 in early atherogenesis, we measured EC apoptosis and lesion formation in LDLR(-/-) or LDLR(-/-)/JNK1(-/-) mice exposed to a high fat diet for 6 weeks. En face staining using antibodies that recognise active, cleaved caspase-3 (apoptosis) or using Sudan IV (lipid deposition) revealed that genetic deletion of JNK1 reduced EC apoptosis and lesion formation in hypercholesterolemic mice. By contrast, although EC apoptosis was enhanced in LDLR(-/-)/MKP-1(-/-) mice compared to LDLR(-/-) mice, lesion formation was unaltered.<h4>Conclusion</h4>We conclude that JNK1 is required for EC apoptosis and lipid deposition during early atherogenesis. Thus pharmacological inhibitors of JNK may reduce atherosclerosis by preventing EC injury as well as by influencing foam cell formation.
Project description:The roles of the c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNKs) in inflammatory arthritis have been investigated; however, the roles of each isotype (ie, JNK1 and JNK2) in rheumatoid arthritis and conclusions about whether inhibition of one or both is necessary for amelioration of disease are unclear. By using JNK1- or JNK2-deficient mice in the collagen-induced arthritis and the KRN T-cell receptor transgenic mouse on C57BL/6 nonobese diabetic (K/BxN) serum transfer arthritis models, we demonstrate that JNK1 deficiency results in protection from arthritis, as judged by clinical score and histological evaluation in both models of inflammatory arthritis. In contrast, abrogation of JNK2 exacerbates disease. In collagen-induced arthritis, the distinct roles of the JNK isotypes can, at least in part, be explained by altered regulation of CD86 expression in JNK1- or JNK2-deficient macrophages in response to microbial products, thereby affecting T-cell-mediated immunity. The protection from K/BxN serum-induced arthritis in Jnk1(-/-) mice can also be explained by inept macrophage function because adoptive transfer of wild-type macrophages to Jnk1(-/-) mice restored disease susceptibility. Thus, our results provide a possible explanation for the modest therapeutic effects of broad JNK inhibitors and suggest that future therapies should selectively target the JNK1 isoform.
Project description:The c-Jun NH(2)-terminal kinase (JNK) is implicated in proliferation. Mice with a deficiency of either the Jnk1 or the Jnk2 genes are viable, but a compound deficiency of both Jnk1 and Jnk2 causes early embryonic lethality. Studies using conditional gene ablation and chemical genetic approaches demonstrate that the combined loss of JNK1 and JNK2 protein kinase function results in rapid senescence. To test whether this role of JNK was required for stem cell proliferation, we isolated embryonic stem (ES) cells from wild-type and JNK-deficient mice. We found that Jnk1(-/-) Jnk2(-/-) ES cells underwent self-renewal, but these cells proliferated more rapidly than wild-type ES cells and exhibited major defects in lineage-specific differentiation. Together, these data demonstrate that JNK is not required for proliferation or self-renewal of ES cells, but JNK plays a key role in the differentiation of ES cells.
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:Overexpression and activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNKs) have been observed in multiple cancer cell lines and tumor samples. Various JNK isoforms have been reported to promote lung and liver cancer, as well as keratinocyte transformation, suggesting an important role of JNK signaling in promoting tumor development. However, there are three JNK isoforms, and it is unclear how each individual isoform, especially the ubiquitously expressed JNK1 and JNK2, functions in melanoma. Our previous study found that C116S mutations in both JNK1 and JNK2 rendered them insensitive to the covalent pan-JNK inhibitor JNK-IN-8 while retaining kinase activity. To delineate the specific roles of JNK1 and JNK2 in melanoma cell proliferation and invasiveness, we expressed the wild type (WT) and C116S mutants in melanoma cell lines and used JNK-IN-8 to enable chemical-genetic dissection of JNK1 and JNK2 activity. We found that the JNK2C116S allele consistently enhanced colony proliferation and cell invasiveness in the presence of JNK-IN-8. When cells individually expressing WT or C116S JNK1/2 were subcutaneously implanted into immunodeficient mice, we again found that bypass of JNK-IN-8-mediated inhibition of JNK signaling by expression of JNK2C116S specifically resulted in enhanced tumor growth in vivo. In addition, we observed a high level of JNK pathway activation in some human BRAF inhibitor (BRAFi) resistant melanoma cell lines relative to their BRAFi sensitive isogenic counterparts. JNK-IN-8 significantly enhanced the response to dabrafenib in resistant cells overexpressing JNK1WT, JNK2WT, and JNK1C116S but had no effect on cells expressing JNK2C116S, suggesting that JNK2 signaling is also crucial for BRAFi resistance in a subset of melanomas. Collectively, our data show that JNK2 activity is specifically required for melanoma cell proliferation, invasiveness, and BRAFi resistance and that this activity is most important in the context of JNK1 suppression, thus providing a compelling rationale for the development of JNK2 selective inhibitors as a potential therapy for the treatment of melanoma.
Project description:The relative contributions of the JNK subtypes in inflammatory ?-cell failure and apoptosis are unclear. The JNK protein family consists of JNK1, JNK2, and JNK3 subtypes, encompassing many different isoforms. INS-1 cells express JNK1?1, JNK1?2, JNK1?1, JNK1?2, JNK2?1, JNK2?2, JNK3?1, and JNK3?2 mRNA isoform transcripts translating into 46 and 54?kDa isoform JNK proteins. Utilizing Lentiviral mediated expression of shRNAs against JNK1, JNK2, or JNK3 in insulin-producing INS-1 cells, we investigated the role of individual JNK subtypes in IL-1?-induced ?-cell apoptosis. JNK1 knockdown prevented IL-1?-induced INS-1 cell apoptosis associated with decreased 46?kDa isoform JNK protein phosphorylation and attenuated Myc expression. Transient knockdown of Myc also prevented IL-1?-induced apoptosis as well as caspase 3 cleavage. JNK2 shRNA potentiated IL-1?-induced apoptosis and caspase 3 cleavage, whereas JNK3 shRNA did not affect IL-1?-induced ?-cell death compared to nonsense shRNA expressing INS-1 cells. In conclusion, JNK1 mediates INS-1 cell death associated with increased Myc expression. These findings underline the importance of differentiated targeting of JNK subtypes in the development of inflammatory ?-cell failure and destruction.
Project description:12/15-Lipoxygenase (12/15LO) plays a role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and diabetes and has been implicated in low density lipoprotein oxidation. Murine macrophages express high levels of 12/15LO and are key cells involved in the accumulation and efflux of oxidized low density lipoprotein in the arterial wall. During this process, macrophages up-regulate scavenger receptors that regulate lipid uptake, and ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters, that regulate lipid efflux. We have previously demonstrated that 12/15LO enhances the turnover and serine phosphorylation of ABCG1. In the current study, we further elucidate the mechanisms by which 12/15LO regulates ABCG1. Proteasomal inhibitors blocked the down-regulation of ABCG1 expression and resulted in accumulation of phosphorylated ABCG1. Macrophages that lack 12/15LO have enhanced transporter expression, reduced ABCG1 phosphorylation, and increased cholesterol efflux. Conversely, macrophages that overexpress 12/15LO have reduced ABCG1 expression, increased transporter phosphorylation, and reduced cholesterol efflux. 12/15LO plays a key role in activating the MAPK pathway. Inhibition of the p38 or JNK pathways with pharmacological inhibitors or dominant negative constructs blocked 12S-hydroxyeicosatetranoic acid-mediated degradation of ABCG1. Moreover, we isolated macrophages from JNK1-, JNK2-, and MKK3-deficient mice to analyze the involvement of specific MAPK pathways. JNK2- and MKK3-, but not JNK1-deficient macrophages were resistant to the down-regulation of ABCG1 protein, reduction in efflux, and increase in serine phosphorylation by 12S-hydroxyeicosatetranoic acid. These findings provide evidence that 12/15LO regulates ABCG1 expression and function through p38- and JNK2-dependent mechanisms, and that targeting these pathways may provide novel approaches for regulating cholesterol homeostasis.
Project description:BACKGROUND & AIMS:Inclusion of liver grafts from cardiac death donors (CDD) would increase the availability of donor livers but is hampered by a higher risk of primary non-function. Here, we seek to determine mechanisms that contribute to primary non-function of liver grafts from CDD with the goal to develop strategies for improved function and outcome, focusing on c-Jun-N-terminal kinase (JNK) activation and mitochondrial depolarization, two known mediators of graft failure. METHODS:Livers explanted from wild-type, inducible nitric oxide synthase knockout (iNOS(-/-)), JNK1(-/-) or JNK2(-/-) mice after 45-min aorta clamping were implanted into wild-type recipients. Mitochondrial depolarization was detected by intravital confocal microscopy in living recipients. RESULTS:After transplantation of wild-type CDD livers, graft iNOS expression and 3-nitrotyrosine adducts increased, but hepatic endothelial NOS expression was unchanged. Graft injury and dysfunction were substantially higher in CDD grafts than in non-CDD grafts. iNOS deficiency and inhibition attenuated injury and improved function and survival of CDD grafts. JNK1/2 and apoptosis signal-regulating kinase-1 activation increased markedly in wild-type CDD grafts, which was blunted by iNOS deficiency. JNK inhibition and JNK2 deficiency, but not JNK1 deficiency, decreased injury and improved function and survival of CDD grafts. Mitochondrial depolarization and binding of phospho-JNK2 to Sab, a mitochondrial protein linked to the mitochondrial permeability transition, were higher in CDD than in non-CDD grafts. iNOS deficiency, JNK inhibition and JNK2 deficiency all decreased mitochondrial depolarization and blunted ATP depletion in CDD grafts. JNK inhibition and deficiency did not decrease 3-nitrotyrosine adducts in CDD grafts. CONCLUSION:The iNOS-JNK2-Sab pathway promotes CDD graft failure via increased mitochondrial depolarization, and is an attractive target to improve liver function and survival in CDD liver transplantation recipients.
Project description:Retinoid X receptor alpha (RXRalpha), the heterodimeric partner for multiple nuclear receptors (NRs), was shown to be an essential target for inflammation-induced cJun-N-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling in vitro. This study aimed to explore the role of hepatic JNK signaling and its effects on nuclear RXRalpha levels downstream of interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta) in vivo.Effects of IL-1beta on hepatic NR-dependent gene expression, nuclear RXRalpha levels, and roles for individual JNK isoforms were studied in wild-type, Jnk1(-/-), and Jnk2(-/-) mice and in primary hepatocytes of each genotype.IL-1beta administration showed a time-dependent reduction in expression of the hepatic NR-dependent genes Ntcp, Cyp7a1, Cyp8b1, Abcg5, Mrp2, and Mrp3. IL-1beta treatment for 1h activated JNK and resulted in both post-translational modification and reduction of nuclear RXRalpha. In wild-type primary hepatocytes, IL-1beta modified and reduced nuclear RXRalpha levels time dependently, which was prevented by chemical inhibition of JNK as well as by inhibition of proteasomal degradation. Individual absence of either JNK1 or JNK2 did not significantly influence the reduction or modification of hepatic nuclear RXRalpha by IL-1beta both in vivo and in primary hepatocytes.Functional redundancy exists for JNK1 and JNK2 in IL-1beta-mediated alterations of hepatic nuclear RXRalpha levels, stressing the importance of this pathway in mediating the hepatic response to inflammation.
Project description:Despite their lack of selectivity toward c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) isoforms, peptides derived from the JIP (JNK Interacting Protein) scaffolds linked to the cell-penetrating peptide TAT are widely used to investigate JNK-mediated signaling events. To engineer an isoform-selective peptide inhibitor, several JIP-based peptide sequences were designed and tested. A JIP sequence connected through a flexible linker to either the N-terminus of an inverted TAT sequence (JIP(10)-?-TAT(i)) or to a poly arginine sequence (JIP(10)-?-R(9)) enabled the potent inhibition of JNK2 (IC(50) ? 90 nM) and exhibited 10-fold selectivity for JNK2 over JNK1 and JNK3. Examination of both peptides in HEK293 cells revealed a potent ability to inhibit the induction of both JNK activation and c-Jun phosphorylation in cells treated with anisomycin. Notably, Western blot analysis indicates that only a fraction of total JNK must be activated to elicit robust c-Jun phosphorylation. To examine the potential of each peptide to selectively modulate JNK2 signaling in vivo, their ability to inhibit the migration of Polyoma Middle-T Antigen Mammary Tumor (PyVMT) cells was assessed. PyVMTjnk2-/- cells exhibit a lower migration potential compared to PyVMTjnk2+/+ cells, and this migration potential is restored through the overexpression of GFP-JNK2?. Both JIP(10)-?-TAT(i) and JIP(10)-?-R(9) inhibit the migration of PyVMTjnk2+/+ cells and PyVMTjnk2-/- cells expressing GFP-JNK2?. However, neither peptide inhibits the migration of PyVMTjnk2-/- cells. A control form of JIP(10)-?-TAT(i) containing a single leucine to arginine mutation lacks ability to inhibit JNK2 in vitro cell-free and cell-based assays and does not inhibit the migration of PyVMTjnk2+/+ cells. Together, these data suggest that JIP(10)-?-TAT(i) and JIP(10)-?-R(9) inhibit the migration of PyVMT cells through the selective inhibition of JNK2. Finally, the mechanism of inhibition of a D-retro-inverso JIP peptide, previously reported to inhibit JNK, was examined and found to inhibit p38MAPK? in an in vitro cell-free assay with little propensity to inhibit JNK isoforms.