Monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), a member of the C-C subfamily of chemokines, is important for the local recruitment of leukocytes to sites of inflammatory challenge. Here, we investigated endothelial signaling pathways involving members of the mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase superfamily and studied their role for MCP-1 expression in endothelium. We show that tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), a potent inflammatory activator of endothelium, leads to activation of MAP kinases ERK, p38, and JNK in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC). Contribution of MAP kinase pathways to TNF-α-induced synthesis of endothelial MCP-1 was then studied by pharmacologic inhibition and transient expression of dominant negative or constitutively active kinase mutants using flow cytometry, Northern blot, and luciferase reporter gene assays. Inhibition of Raf/MEK/ERK or SEK/JNK pathways had no significant effect on MCP-1 levels, whereas blocking the MKK6/p38 pathway by p38 inhibitors SB203580 or SB202190 or by a dominant negative mutant of MKK6, the upstream activator of p38, strongly inhibited TNF-α-induced expression of MCP-1. Consistent with that finding, expression of wild-type or constitutively active MKK6 significantly enhanced the effect of limiting TNF-α concentrations on MCP-1 synthesis. These data suggest a crucial role for the MKK6/p38 stress kinase cascade in TNF-α-mediated endothelial MCP-1 expression.
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - Feb 1 1999|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology