Treatment of AZ-521 cells with Helicobacter pylori VacA increased cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) mRNA in a time- and dose-dependent manner. A p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) inhibitor, SB203580, blocked elevation of COX-2 mRNA levels, whereas PD98059, which blocks the Erk1/2 cascade, partially suppressed the increase. Consistent with involvement of p38 MAPK, VacA-induced accumulation of COX-2 mRNA was reduced in AZ-521 cells overexpressing a dominant-negative p38 MAPK (DN-p38). Phosphatidylinositol- specific phospholipase C, which inhibits VacA-induced p38 MAPK activation, blocked VacA-induced COX-2 expression. In parallel with COX-2 expression, VacA increased prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) production, which was inhibited by SB203580 and NS-398, a COX-2 inhibitor. VacA-induced PGE 2 production was markedly attenuated in AZ-521 cells stably expressing DN-p38. VacA increased transcription of a COX-2 promoter reporter gene and activated a COX-2 promoter containing mutated NF-κB or NF-interleukin-6 sites but not a mutated cis-acting replication element (CRE) site, suggesting direct involvement of the activating transcription factor 2 (ATF-2)/CREB-binding region in VacA-induced COX-2 promoter activation. The reduction of ATF-2 expression in AZ-521 cells transformed with ATF-2-small interfering RNA duplexes resulted in suppression of COX-2 expression. Thus, VacA enhances PGE2 production by AZ-521 cells through induction of COX-2 expression via the p38 MAPK/ATF-2 cascade, leading to activation of the CRE site in the COX-2 promoter.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases