Aurintricarboxylic acid protects against cell death caused by lipopolysaccharide in macrophages by decreasing inducible nitric-oxide synthase induction via IkappaB kinase, extracellular signal-regulated kinase, and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase inhibition

Chin-Ju Tsi, Yee Chao, Ching-Wen Chen, Wan Wan Lin
Molecular Pharmacology 2002, 62 (1): 90-101
To elucidate the mechanisms involved in cell protection by aurintricarboxylic acid (ATA), an endonuclease inhibitor, high nitric oxide (NO)-induced macrophage apoptosis was studied. In RAW 264.7 macrophages, a high level of NO production accompanied by cell apoptosis was apparent with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) treatment. Direct NO donor sodium nitroprusside (SNP) also dramatically induced cell death, with an EC(50) of 1 mM. Coincubation of ATA (1-500 microM) in LPS-stimulated RAW 264.7 cells resulted in a striking reduction of NO production and cell apoptosis, whereas only a partial cell protection was achieved in response to SNP. This suggests that abrogation of inducible nitric-oxide synthase (iNOS)-dependent NO production might contribute to ATA protection of LPS-treated cells. Immunoblotting and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analysis revealed that ATA down-regulated iNOS protein through transcriptional inhibition of iNOS gene expression but was unrelated to iNOS protein stability. ATA not only inhibited nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) activation through impairment of the targeting and degradation of IkappaBs but also reduced LPS-induced activator protein-1 (AP-1) activation. These actions of ATA were not caused by the influence on LPS binding to macrophage membrane. Kinase assays indicated that ATA inhibited IkappaB kinase (IKK), extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) activity both in vivo and in vitro, suggesting a direct interaction between ATA and these signaling molecules. Taken together, these results provide novel action targets of ATA and indicate that ATA protection of macrophages from LPS-mediated cell death is primarily the result of its inhibition of NO production, which closely relates to the inactivation of NF-kappaB and AP-1 and inhibition of IKK, ERK and p38 MAPK.

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