Cyclic AMP inhibits JNK activation by CREB-mediated induction of c-FLIP(L) and MKP-1, thereby antagonizing UV-induced apoptosis

J Zhang, Q Wang, N Zhu, M Yu, B Shen, J Xiang, A Lin
Cell Death and Differentiation 2008, 15 (10): 1654-62
The cyclic AMP (cAMP) signaling pathway has been reported to either promote or suppress apoptosis, in a cell context-dependent manner. Our previous study has shown that cAMP, by protein kinase A (PKA)-cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB)-dynein light chain (DLC) pathway, negatively regulates mitogen-activated protein kinase p38 activation, thereby contributing to tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha-induced apoptosis in certain types of cells. However, it remains largely unknown how cAMP suppresses apoptosis. Here we report that cAMP antagonized UV-induced apoptosis in Rat-1 and NIH 3T3 cells. Despite that cAMP significantly suppressed UV-induced p38 activation, inhibition of p38 activity showed no significant effect on UV-induced cell death in both cell lines. Further studies revealed that cAMP antagonized UV-induced apoptosis by inhibition of c-Jun N-terminal protein kinase (JNK) activation. The induction of the long form of cellular FLICE-inhibitory protein (c-FLIP(L)) and mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphatase-1 (MKP-1), but not DLC and p21(WAF1) by CREB was required for cAMP-mediated inhibition of JNK activation. The suppression by cAMP of UV-induced apoptosis was reversed by c-FLIP(L) small-interfering RNA (siRNA) or MKP-1 siRNA, which released the inhibition of JNK activation by cAMP. Thus, our results provide a molecular mechanism by which cAMP suppresses JNK activation and antagonizes apoptosis.

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