Author(s): Rokos CL, Ledwith BJ
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Abstract Peroxisome proliferators (PPs) are a class of nongenotoxic carcinogens in the rodent liver. The induction of immediate-early gene expression in immortalized mouse liver cells by the PPs Wy-14, 643, monoethylhexyl phthalate, ciprofibrate ethyl ester, and clofibrate suggested that they may be activating growth-regulatory signal transduction pathways. We report that incubation of quiescent ML457 cells with Wy-14,643 resulted in the appearance of two tyrosine-phosphorylated bands of approximately 44 and 42 kDa with maximal phosphorylation at 20 min. These two proteins were identified as extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERKs) ERK1 and ERK2 (also known as mitogen-activated protein kinases, or MAPKs). Stimulation of quiescent ML457 cells with monoethylhexyl phthalate, ciprofibrate ethyl ester, and clofibrate also resulted in tyrosine phosphorylation of ERK1 and ERK2; however, the steroid PP dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, which does not induce immediate-early gene expression, did not induce phosphorylation of ERK1 and ERK2. Kinase activity of ERK1 and ERK2 was stimulated by the PPs, consistent with their phosphorylation. The PPs also induced phosphorylation of the upstream regulator MAPK/ERK kinase (MEK). Preincubation of quiescent cells with MEK inhibitor PD98059 blocked activation of ERK1 and ERK2 by the PPs, implicating MEK activation as a requirement for PP-induced ERK activation. In addition, pretreatment with PD98059 greatly reduced the PP-induced expression of immediate-early genes c-fos, egr-1, and to a lesser extent junB. Induction of ERK phosphorylation and junB expression by Wy-14,643 was also seen in rat hepatocytes. These results attribute many of the effects of PPs on immediate-early gene expression to the activation of the MEK/ERK signal transduction pathway and add the PPs to the growing number of tumor promoters that modulate signaling proteins.
This article was published in J Biol Chem
and referenced in Journal of Cytology & Histology