Complete inhibition of anisomycin and UV radiation but not cytokine induced JNK and p38 activation by an aryl-substituted dihydropyrrolopyrazole quinoline and mixed lineage kinase 7 small interfering RNA

Xushan Wang, Mary M Mader, John E Toth, Xiaohong Yu, Najia Jin, Robert M Campbell, Jeffrey K Smallwood, Michael E Christe, Arindam Chatterjee, Theodore Goodson, Chris J Vlahos, William F Matter, Laura J Bloem
Journal of Biological Chemistry 2005 May 13, 280 (19): 19298-305
Mixed lineage kinase 7 (MLK7) is a mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase (MAPKKK) that activates the pro-apoptotic signaling pathways p38 and JNK. A library of potential kinase inhibitors was screened, and a series of dihydropyrrolopyrazole quinolines was identified as highly potent inhibitors of MLK7 in vitro catalytic activity. Of this series, an aryl-substituted dihydropyrrolopyrazole quinoline (DHP-2) demonstrated an IC50 of 70 nM for inhibition of pJNK formation in COS-7 cell MLK7/JNK co-transfection assays. In stimulated cells, DHP-2 at 200 nM or MLK7 small interfering RNA completely blocked anisomycin and UV induced but had no effect on interleukin-1beta or tumor necrosis factor-alpha-induced p38 and JNK activation. Additionally, the compound blocked anisomycin and UV-induced apoptosis in COS-7 cells. Heart tissue homogenates from MLK7 transgenic mice treated with DHP-2 at 30 mg/kg had reduced JNK and p38 activation with no apparent effect on ERK activation, demonstrating that this compound can be used to block MLK7-driven MAPK pathway activation in vivo. Taken together, these data demonstrate that MLK7 is the MAPKKK required for modulation of the stress-activated MAPKs downstream of anisomycin and UV stimulation and that DHP-2 can be used to block MLK7 pathway activation in cells as well as in vivo.

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