Tumor necrosis factor alpha-induced E-selectin expression is activated by the nuclear factor-kappaB and c-JUN N-terminal kinase/p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways

M A Read, M Z Whitley, S Gupta, J W Pierce, J Best, R J Davis, T Collins
Journal of Biological Chemistry 1997 January 31, 272 (5): 2753-61
E-selectin expression by endothelium is crucial for leukocyte recruitment during inflammatory responses. Transcriptional regulation of the E-selectin promoter by tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha) requires multiple nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) binding sites and a cAMP-responsive element/activating transcription factor-like binding site designated positive domain II (PDII). Here we characterize the role of the stress-activated family of mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases in induced expression of this adhesion molecule. By UV cross-linking and immunoprecipitation, we demonstrated that a heterodimer of transcription factors ATF-2 and c-JUN is constitutively bound to the PDII site. TNFalpha stimulation of endothelial cells induces transient phosphorylation of both ATF-2 and c-JUN and induces marked activation of the c-JUN N-terminal kinase (JNK1) and p38 but not extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK1). JNK and p38 are constitutively present in the nucleus, and DNA-bound c-JUN and ATF-2 are stably contacted by JNK and p38, respectively. MAP/ERK kinase kinase 1 (MEKK1), an upstream activator of MAP kinases, increases E-selectin promoter transcription and requires an intact PDII site for maximal induction. MEKK1 can also activate NF-kappaB -dependent gene expression. The effects of dominant interfering forms of the JNK/p38 signaling pathway demonstrate that activation of these kinases is critical for cytokine-induced E-selectin gene expression. Thus, TNFalpha activates two signaling pathways, NF-kappaB and JNK/p38, which are both required for maximal expression of E-selectin.

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