Regulation of Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Phosphatase-1 in Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells

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Mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase cascades are major signaling systems by which cells transduce extracellular cues into intracellular responses. In general, MAP kinases are activated by phosphorylation on tyrosine and threonine residues and inactivated by dephosphorylation. Therefore, MAP kinase phosphatase-1 (MKP-1), a dual-specificity protein tyrosine phosphatase that exhibits catalytic activity toward both regulatory sites on MAP kinases, is suggested to be responsible for the downregulation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), stress-activated protein kinase (SAPK), and p38 MAP kinase. In the present study, we examined the role of these MAP kinases in the induction of MKP-1 in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). Extracellular stimuli such as platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate (TPA), and angiotensin II, which activated ERK but not SAPK/p38 MAP kinase, induced a transient induction of MKP-1 mRNA and its intracellular protein. In addition, PD 098059, an antagonist of MEK (MAP kinase/ERK kinase), the upstream kinase of ERK, significantly reduced the PDGF-induced activation of ERK and potently inhibited the expression of MKP-1 after stimulation with PDGF, thereby demonstrating the induction of MKP-1 in response to activation of the ERK signaling cascade. Furthermore, anisomycin, a potent stimulus of SAPK and p38 MAP kinase, also induced MKP-1 mRNA expression. This effect of anisomycin was significantly inhibited in the presence of the p38 MAP kinase antagonist SB 203580. These data suggest the induction of MKP-1, not only after stimulation of the cell growth-promoting ERK pathway but also in response to activation of stress-responsive MAP kinase signaling cascades. We suggest that this pattern of MKP-1 induction may be a negative feedback mechanism in the control of MAP kinase activity in VSMCs. (Hypertension. 1998;32:661-667.)

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