Effect of tumor necrosis factor-alpha on insulin-stimulated mitogen-activated protein kinase cascade in cultured rat skeletal muscle cells

N Begum, L Ragolia, M Srinivasan
European Journal of Biochemistry 1996 May 15, 238 (1): 214-20
Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) is a proposed mediator of insulin resistance in obese/diabetic animals through its effects on tyrosine phosphorylation of the insulin receptor and its substrate, insulin receptor substrate-1. In this study, the acute effects of TNF-alpha on the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signalling cascade were examined in cultured rat skeletal muscle cell line, L6. Insulin treatment of L6 cells resulted in a rapid increase in MAPK activity (> twofold in 5 min with 10 nM insulin). Prior treatment with TNF-alpha for 60 min blocked subsequent insulin-induced activation of MAPK in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Metabolic labelling studies with inorganic [32P]phosphate followed by immuno-precipitation of MAPK and its upstream activator, mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase, indicated decreased phosphorylation of MAPK and its kinase in response to insulin in cells exposed to TNF-alpha. This effect of TNF-alpha was not due to inhibition of insulin-stimulated p21ras-GTP loading or Raf-1 phosphorylation. Low concentrations (2 nM) of okadaic acid, a serine/threonine phosphatase inhibitor, prevented TNF-alpha-induced inhibition of MAPK and restored insulin's effect on MAPK activity, while orthovanadate (a tyrosine phosphatase inhibitor), inhibitor 2 (phosphatase-1 inhibitor) and FK506 (phosphatase-2B inhibitor) were ineffective. These results suggested an involvement of an okadaic-acid-sensitive serine/threonine phosphatase in TNF-alpha-induced blockade of insulin's effect on MAPK and/or its kinase. Therefore, we examined the effect of TNF-alpha on protein phosphatase-1 (PP-1) and protein phosphatase-2A (PP-2A) activities. As reported by us earlier, insulin rapidly stimulated PP-1 and concomitantly inhibited PP-2A activities in control cells. TNF-alpha treatment blocked insulin-induced activation of PP-1. In contrast to PP-1, TNF-alpha caused a 60% increase in PP-2A activity and insulin failed to prevent this TNF-alpha effect. The time course of PP-2A activation by TNF-alpha preceded the kinetics of inhibition of MAPK. Cell-permeable ceramide analogs mimicked the TNF-alpha effect on MAPK inhibition and PP-2A activation. We conclude that TNF-alpha abrogates the insulin effect on MAPK activation by increasing dephosphorylation of MAPK kinase via an activated phosphatase.

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