ERK oscillation-dependent gene expression patterns and deregulation by stress response

Katrina M. Waters, Brian S. Cummings, Harish Shankaran, Natalie E. Scholpa, Thomas J. Weber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Studies were undertaken to determine whether extracellular signal regulated kinase (ERK) oscillations regulate a unique subset of genes in human keratinocytes and subsequently whether the p38 stress response inhibits ERK oscillations. A DNA microarray identified many genes that were unique to ERK oscillations, and network reconstruction predicted an important role for the mediator complex subunit 1 (MED1) node in mediating ERK oscillation-dependent gene expression. Increased ERK-dependent phosphorylation of MED1 was observed in oscillating cells compared to nonoscillating counterparts as validation. Treatment of keratinocytes with a p38 inhibitor (SB203580) increased ERK oscillation amplitudes and MED1 and phospho-MED1 protein levels. Bromate is a probable human carcinogen that activates p38. Bromate inhibited ERK oscillations in human keratinocytes and JB6 cells and induced an increase in phospho-p38 and a decrease in phospho-MED1 protein levels. Treatment of normal rat kidney cells and primary salivary gland epithelial cells with bromate decreased phospho-MED1 levels in a reversible fashion upon treatment with p38 inhibitors (SB202190; SB203580). Our results indicate that oscillatory behavior in the ERK pathway alters homeostatic gene regulation patterns and that the cellular response to perturbation may manifest differently in oscillating vs nonoscillating cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1496-1503
Number of pages8
JournalChemical Research in Toxicology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 15 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


Dive into the research topics of 'ERK oscillation-dependent gene expression patterns and deregulation by stress response'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this