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J Biol Chem. 1999 Sep 24;274(39):27529-35.

Insulin-like growth factor-I induces bcl-2 promoter through the transcription factor cAMP-response element-binding protein.

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  • 1Section of Endocrinology, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Denver, Colorado 80220, USA.


Insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) is known to prevent apoptosis induced by diverse stimuli. The present study examined the effect of IGF-I on the promoter activity of bcl-2, a gene with antiapoptotic function. A luciferase reporter driven by the promoter region of bcl-2 from -1640 to -1287 base pairs upstream of the translation start site containing a cAMP-response element was used in transient transfection assays. Treatment of PC12 cells with IGF-I enhanced the bcl-2 promoter activity by 2.3-fold, which was inhibited significantly (p < 0.01) by SB203580, an inhibitor of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK). Cotransfection of the bcl-2 promoter with MAPK kinase 6 and the beta isozyme of p38 MAPK resulted in 2-3-fold increase in the reporter activity. The dominant negative form of MAPKAP-K3, a downstream kinase activated by p38 MAPK, and the dominant negative form of cAMP-response element-binding protein, inhibited the reporter gene activation by IGF-I and p38beta MAPK significantly (p < 0.01). IGF-I increased the activity of p38beta MAPK introduced into the cells by adenoviral infection. Thus, we have characterized a novel signaling pathway (MAPK kinase 6/p38beta MAPK/MAPKAP-K3) that defines a transcriptional mechanism for the induction of the antiapoptotic protein Bcl-2 by IGF-I through the nuclear transcription factor cAMP-response element-binding protein in PC12 cells.

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