Hydrogen peroxide stimulates mitogen-activated protein kinase in bovine tracheal myocytes: implications for human airway disease.

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We have shown that hyperoxic exposure of immature rats induces airway smooth muscle layer thickening and cell turnover parallel to that found in the airways of patients with bronchopulmonary dysplasia and chronic, severe asthma. We hypothesized that reactive oxygen species could promote the observed airway remodeling by directly stimulating signal transduction pathways that regulate cell growth. To test this hypothesis in cultured cells, we assessed the effects of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) on mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase activation in bovine tracheal myocytes. The MAP kinases are a family of 40 to 46 kD cytosolic serine/threonine kinases that participate in the transduction of mitogenic signals to the cell nucleus. Quiescent cells were exposed to H2O2 (25 to 200 microns; 2 to 60 min), after which SDS-PAGE of cell extracts was performed. Western analysis using an anti-MAP kinase antiserum revealed a decrease in the mobility of the 42 and 44 kD MAP kinase bands after H2O2 exposures of 5 to 30 min, reflecting the phosphorylation at threonine and tyrosine residues required for enzymatic activity. MAP kinase activation was demonstrated by kinase renaturation assays, which showed an almost 4-fold increase in 42 and 44 kD MAP kinase activity. Down-regulation of protein kinase C (PKC) with phorbol 12,13-dibutyrate (PDBu) partially reduced H2O2-stimulated MAP kinase activity, suggesting that H2O2 induces MAP kinase activation via both PKC-dependent and PKC-independent pathways. Western analysis using a phosphotyrosine monoclonal antibody revealed increased tyrosine phosphorylation of proteins with approximate molecular weights of 72 and 125 kD after H2O2 exposure, demonstrating that H2O2 can stimulate the tyrosine phosphorylation of multiple cytosolic proteins, including MAP kinase.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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