Protein phosphatase 2A-mediated cross-talk between p38 MAPK and ERK in apoptosis of cardiac myocytes

Qinghang Liu, Polly A Hofmann
American Journal of Physiology. Heart and Circulatory Physiology 2004, 286 (6): H2204-12
Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) play different regulatory roles in signaling oxidative stress-induced apoptosis in cardiac ventricular myocytes. The regulation and functional role of cross-talk between p38 MAPK and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) pathways were investigated in cardiac ventricular myocytes in the present study. We demonstrated that inhibition of p38 MAPK with SB-203580 and SB-239063 enhanced H(2)O(2)-stimulated ERK phosphorylation, whereas preactivation of p38 MAPK with sodium arsenite reduced H(2)O(2)-stimulated ERK phosphorylation. In addition, pretreatment of cells with the protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) inhibitors okadaic acid and fostriecin increased basal and H(2)O(2)-stimulated ERK phosphorylation. We also found that PP2A coimmunoprecipitated with ERK and MAPK/ERK (MEK) in cardiac ventricular myocytes, and H(2)O(2) increased the ERK-associated PP2A activity that was blocked by inhibition of p38 MAPK. Finally, H(2)O(2)-induced apoptosis was attenuated by p38 MAPK or PP2A inhibition, whereas it was enhanced by MEK inhibition. Thus the present study demonstrated that p38 MAPK activation decreases H(2)O(2)-induced ERK activation through a PP2A-dependent mechanism in cardiac ventricular myocytes. This represents a novel cellular mechanism that allows for interaction of two opposing MAPK pathways and fine modulation of apoptosis during oxidative stress.

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