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J Biol Chem. 1999 May 14;274(20):13985-92.

Trichothecene mycotoxins trigger a ribotoxic stress response that activates c-Jun N-terminal kinase and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase and induces apoptosis.

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  • 1Division of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.

Abstract

The trichothecene family of mycotoxins inhibit protein synthesis by binding to the ribosomal peptidyltransferase site. Inhibitors of the peptidyltransferase reaction (e.g. anisomycin) can trigger a ribotoxic stress response that activates c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK)/p38 mitogen-activated protein kinases, components of a signaling cascade that regulates cell survival in response to stress. We have found that selected trichothecenes strongly activate JNK/p38 kinases and induce rapid apoptosis in Jurkat T cells. Although the ability of individual trichothecenes to inhibit protein synthesis and activate JNK/p38 kinases are dissociable, both effects contribute to the induction of apoptosis. Among trichothecenes that strongly activate JNK/p38 kinases, induction of apoptosis increases linearly with inhibition of protein synthesis. Among trichothecenes that strongly inhibit protein synthesis, induction of apoptosis increases linearly with activation of JNK/p38 kinases. Trichothecenes that inhibit protein synthesis without activating JNK/p38 kinases inhibit the function (i.e. activation of JNK/p38 kinases and induction of apoptosis) of apoptotic trichothecenes and anisomycin. Harringtonine, a structurally unrelated protein synthesis inhibitor that competes with trichothecenes (and anisomycin) for ribosome binding, also inhibits the activation of JNK/p38 kinases and induction of apoptosis by trichothecenes and anisomycin. Taken together, these results implicate the peptidyltransferase site as a regulator of both JNK/p38 kinase activation and apoptosis.

PMID:
10318810
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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