Extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK1/2), c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNK/SAPK), and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) were all rapidly activated in a ROS-dependent manner during 2,3,5-tris-(glutathion-S-yl)hydroquinone (TGHQ)-mediated oxidative stress and oncotic cell death in renal proximal tubule epithelial cells (LLC-PK1). TGHQ-induced phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and JNK MAPKs required epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) activation, whereas p38 MAPK activation was EGFR independent. In contrast to their established roles in cell survival, TGHQ-activated ERK1/2 and p38 MAPK (but not JNK) appear to contribute to cell death, since inhibition of ERK1/2 or p38 MAPKs with PD098059 or SB202190 respectively, attenuated TGHQ-mediated cell death. TGHQ increased AP-1 and NFκB DNA-binding activity, but whereas pharmacological inhibition of ERK1/2 or p38 MAPKs attenuated AP-1 DNA binding activity, it potentiated TGHQ-mediated NFκB activation. Consistent with a role for NFKB activation in the cytoprotective response to ROS in renal epithelial cells, an anti-NFκB peptide SN50 suppressed the protective effects of ERK inhibition (PD098059 treatment). The data provide evidence that the activation of MAPKs by ROS in renal epithelial cells plays an important role in oncotic cell death, and NF-kB is involved in the cytoprotective effects of PD098059.
ASJC Scopus subject areas