Induction of cyclooxygenase-2 by heat shock protein 60 in macrophages and endothelial cells

Blase Billack, Diane E Heck, Thomas M Mariano, Carol R Gardner, Runa Sur, Debra L Laskin, Jeffrey D Laskin
American Journal of Physiology. Cell Physiology 2002, 283 (4): C1267-77
The 60-kDa heat shock protein (HSP60), an endogenous ligand for the toll-like 4 receptor, is generated in response to inflammation, tissue injury, and/or stress and stimulates macrophages to produce cytotoxic and proinflammatory mediators including nitric oxide, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, interleukin (IL)-6, and IL-12. In the present studies we report that HSP60 is an effective inducer of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) in macrophages, as well as endothelial cells. In both cell types, the synthesis of COX-2 was coordinate with induction of nitric oxide synthase (NOS)-2 and with nitric oxide production. With the use of promoter constructs in transient transfection assays, optimal expression of COX-2 in macrophages was found to require nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB, the cAMP-response element (CRE), and NF-IL-6, but not the E-box. Mobility shift assays revealed that HSP60 induced NF-kappaB and CRE binding activity, while CCAAT/enhancer binding protein (C/EBP), which binds to NF-IL-6, was constitutively active in the cells. Both c-Jun and CRE binding protein (CREB) bound to the CRE, while C/EBP-beta bound to NF-IL-6. These data indicate that NF-kappaB, C/EBP-beta, c-Jun, and CREB are important in HSP60-induced expression of COX-2. The c-Jun-NH(2)-terminal kinase (JNK), p44/42 mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase [extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2)], and p38 MAP kinase were rapidly activated by HSP60 in the macrophages. PD-98059, an inhibitor of phosphorylation of ERK1/2, caused a marked inhibition of HSP60-induced COX-2 and NOS-2 expression. Unexpectedly, SB-203580, a p38 kinase antagonist, was found to block HSP60-induced expression of COX-2, but not NOS-2. These data indicate that both ERK1/2 kinase and p38 kinase play a role in regulating HSP60-induced expression of COX-2.

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