Cytokine-specific activation of distinct mitogen-activated protein kinase subtype cascades in human neutrophils stimulated by granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha

K Suzuki, M Hino, F Hato, N Tatsumi, S Kitagawa
Blood 1999 January 1, 93 (1): 341-9
To clarify the differences of the signaling pathways used by granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), and tumor necrosis factor- (TNF), we investigated activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) subtype cascades in human neutrophils stimulated by these cytokines. G-CSF exclusively tyrosine-phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK). GM-CSF tyrosine-phosphorylated ERK strongly and p38 MAPK weakly, whereas TNF tyrosine-phosphorylated p38 MAPK strongly and ERK weakly. Consistent with these findings, MEK, an upstream kinase of ERK, was phosphorylated by G-CSF, GM-CSF, and TNF, whereas MKK3/MKK6, an upstream kinase of p38 MAPK, was phosphorylated by GM-CSF and TNF, but not by G-CSF. The potency of these cytokines to phosphorylate ERK and MEK was GM-CSF > G-CSF > TNF, whereas that to phosphorylate p38 MAPK and MKK3/MKK6 was TNF > GM-CSF. C-Jun amino-terminal kinase (JNK) was not tyrosine-phosphorylated by any cytokine despite the existence of JNK proteins in human neutrophils, whereas it was tyrosine-phosphorylated by TNF in undifferentiated and all-trans retinoic acid-differentiated HL-60 cells. Increased phosphorylation of ERK or p38 MAPK was detected within 1 to 5 minutes after stimulation with each cytokine and was dependent on the concentrations of cytokines used. MEK inhibitor (PD98059) reduced tyrosine phosphorylation of ERK, but not p38 MAPK, induced by G-CSF, GM-CSF, or TNF. GM-CSF- or TNF-induced superoxide (O2-) release was inhibited by p38 MAPK inhibitor (SB203580) in a dose-dependent manner, suggesting the possible involvement of p38 MAPK in GM-CSF- or TNF-induced O2- release. The results indicate that G-CSF, GM-CSF, and TNF activate the overlapping but distinct MAPK subtype cascades in human neutrophils and suggest that the differential activation of ERK and p38 MAPK cascades may explain the differences of the effects of these cytokines on human neutrophil functions.

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