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J Biol Chem. 2001 Mar 16;276(11):8094-103. Epub 2000 Nov 27.

Cellular stress induces the tyrosine phosphorylation of caveolin-1 (Tyr(14)) via activation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase and c-Src kinase. Evidence for caveolae, the actin cytoskeleton, and focal adhesions as mechanical sensors of osmotic stress.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Pharmacology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York 10461, USA.


Environmental stressors have been recently shown to activate intracellular mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases, such as p38 MAP kinase, leading to changes in cellular functioning. However, little is known about the downstream elements in these signaling cascades. In this study, we show that caveolin-1 is phosphorylated on tyrosine 14 in NIH 3T3 cells after stimulation with a variety of cellular stressors (i.e. high osmolarity, H2O2, and UV light). To detect this phosphorylation event, we employed a phosphospecific monoclonal antibody probe that recognizes only tyrosine 14-phosphorylated caveolin-1. Since p38 MAP kinase and c-Src have been previously implicated in the stress response, we next assessed their role in the tyrosine phosphorylation of caveolin-1. Interestingly, we show that the p38 inhibitor (SB203580) and a dominant-negative mutant of c-Src (SRC-RF) both block the stress-induced tyrosine phosphorylation of caveolin-1 (Tyr(P)(14)). In contrast, inhibition of the p42/44 MAP kinase cascade did not affect the tyrosine phosphorylation of caveolin-1. These results indicate that extracellular stressors can induce caveolin-1 tyrosine phosphorylation through the activation of well established upstream elements, such as p38 MAP kinase and c-Src kinase. However, heat shock did not promote the tyrosine phosphorylation of caveolin-1 and did not activate p38 MAP kinase. Finally, we show that after hyperosmotic shock, tyrosine-phosphorylated caveolin-1 is localized near focal adhesions, the major sites of tyrosine kinase signaling. In accordance with this localization, disruption of the actin cytoskeleton dramatically potentiates the tyrosine phosphorylation of caveolin-1. Taken together, our results clearly define a novel signaling pathway, involving p38 MAP kinase activation and caveolin-1 (Tyr(P)(14)). Thus, tyrosine phosphorylation of caveolin-1 may represent an important downstream element in the signal transduction cascades activated by cellular stress.

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