Arachidonic acid induces Fas and FasL upregulation in human leukemia U937 cells via Ca2+/ROS-mediated suppression of ERK/c-Fos pathway and activation of p38 MAPK/ATF-2 pathway

Wen-Hsin Liu, Long-Sen Chang
Toxicology Letters 2009 December 15, 191 (2): 140-8
Arachidonic acid (AA)-induced apoptotic death of human leukemia U937 cells was characteristic of increase in intracellular Ca(2+) concentration ([Ca(2+)]i), ROS generation, ERK inactivation, p38 MPAK activation, degradation of procaspase-8 and production of truncated Bid (tBid). Moreover, AA treatment upregulated Fas/FasL protein expression and transcription of Fas/FasL mRNA. Downregulation of FADD blocked AA-induced procaspase-8 degradation and rescued viability of AA-treated cells. BAPTA-AM (Ca(2+) chelator) pretreatment abolished AA-induced ROS generation, while N-acetylcysteine (NAC, ROS scavenger) was unable to alter AA-elicited [Ca(2+)]i increase. Pretreatment with BAPTA-AM or NAC abrogated p38 MAPK activation and restored ERK activation. Suppression of p38 MAPK or transfection of constitutively active MEK1 abolished AA-induced Fas and FasL upregulation. AA treatment repressed ERK-mediated c-Fos phosphorylation but evoked p38 MAPK-mediated ATF-2 phosphorylation. Knockdown of c-Fos and ATF-2 by siRNA reflected that c-Fos counteracted the effect of ATF-2 on Fas/FasL upregulation. Taken together, our data indicate that Fas/FasL upregulation in AA-treated U937 cells is elicited by Ca(2+)/ROS-mediated suppression of ERK/c-Fos pathway and activation of p38 MAPK/ATF-2, and suggest that autocrine Fas-mediated apoptotoic mechanism is involved in AA-induced cell death.

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