Proinsulin C-peptide activates cAMP response element-binding proteins through the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway in mouse lung capillary endothelial cells

Takanori Kitamura, Kazuhiro Kimura, Bae Dong Jung, Kennedy Makondo, Naoki Sakane, Toshihide Yoshida, Masayuki Saito
Biochemical Journal 2002 September 15, 366: 737-44
Proinsulin C-peptide has been reported to have some biological activities and to be possibly involved in the development of diabetic microangiopathy. In the present study, we examined the effects of C-peptide on the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway in LEII mouse lung capillary endothelial cells. Stimulation of the cells with C-peptide increased both p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38MAPK) and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK1/2) activities and activity-related site-specific phosphorylation of the respective kinases in a concentration-dependent manner, but failed to activate c-Jun N-terminal kinase. Stimulation of the cells with C-peptide also induced site-specific phosphorylation of cAMP response element (CRE)-binding protein (CREB)/activating transcription factor 1 (ATF1), and thereby binding of these transcription factors to CRE. Among three CREB kinases tested, phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinase-activated protein kinase 2 (MAPKAP-K2) was induced after stimulation with C-peptide. The phosphorylation of CREB, ATF1 and MAPKAP-K2 were inhibited by SB203580, a p38MAPK inhibitor, but not by PD98059, an ERK kinase inhibitor. These results indicate that C-peptide activates p38MAPK followed by MAPKAP-K2 to enhance DNA-CREB/ATF1 interactions.

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