Author(s): Nakano H, Ikenaga S, Aizu T, Kaneko T, Matsuzaki Y,
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Abstract Recently, we discovered that beta-thujaplicin (BT) induces metallothionein (MT) expression in mouse keratinocytes, both in vivo and in vitro. However, the molecular mechanisms by which BT exerts its biological effects have not been elucidated. The purpose of this study is to explore the signal transduction pathway involved in the MT mRNA induction by BT. Using a HaCaT keratinocyte cell line, Northern blotting was performed for analyzing the human MT-IIA mRNA expression levels in combination with BT and a number of protein kinase (PK) inhibitors including H7, HA1004 and a PKC-specific inhibitor chelerythrin. CAT assays with the MT-IIA gene promorter-CAT construct were conducted for examining the transcriptional regulation by BT of MT. A free radical scavenger N-acetylcysteine (NAC) was used for analyzing a role of oxidative stress for the MT gene induction by BT. BT increased MT-IIA gene transcript levels and CAT activity in a dose-dependent fashion in HaCaT cells. The increase in MT-IIA mRNA levels and CAT activity were completely suppressed by H7 but not by HA1004. In addition, chelerythrin prevented BT-inducible MT-IIA promoter activation. Furthermore, NAC suppressed BT-inducible MT-IIA promoter activation. These results demonstrate that BT is a potent activator of the MT-IIA gene promoter and that PKC activation and reactive oxygen species are implicated in BT-inducible MT-IIA gene expression. BT may be a useful tool for dissecting the signal transduction pathway mediating MT-IIA promoter activation.
This article was published in Biol Pharm Bull
and referenced in Pharmaceutica Analytica Acta