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Cancer Res. 2001 Nov 15;61(22):8322-30.

Induction of glucose-regulated protein 78 by chronic hypoxia in human gastric tumor cells through a protein kinase C-epsilon/ERK/AP-1 signaling cascade.

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  • 1Center for Molecular Medicine, Samsung Biomedical Research Institute and Molecular Therapy Research Center, Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, 135-230 Korea.

Abstract

The M(r) 78,000 glucose-regulated protein (GRP78) can be induced by physiological stresses such as glucose deprivation and hypoxia. In solid tumors, hypoxia can promote malignant progression and confer resistance to irradiation and chemotherapy by altering gene expression. Here, we investigated the molecular mechanisms and signaling pathway involved in the late and prolonged induction of the GRP78 gene by hypoxia in a human gastric cancer cell line, MKN28. Nuclear run-on assays and mRNA stability measurements revealed that transcriptional activation, not stabilization of mRNA, contributed to the dramatic induction of GRP78 gene under hypoxia. Induction of GRP78 by chronic hypoxia was completely abolished by pretreatment with PD98059 [a specific inhibitor of mitogen-activated protein/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) kinase (MEK1)] or by overexpression of a dominant-negative MEK1 mutant, demonstrating a direct involvement of ERK in the induction of transcription at the GRP78 promoter under these conditions. Furthermore, hypoxia increased the transcriptional activity of a 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate response element-like motif on the GRP78 promoter and increased the abundance and DNA binding activity of AP-1 complex composed of c-Jun and c-Fos. A selective protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor, GF109203X, inhibited the induction of GRP78 gene expression as well as the activities of both ERK and Raf-1. Among six PKC isoforms expressed in MKN28 cells, PKC-epsilon expression level and kinase activity were increased by hypoxia. Transfection of MKN28 cells with a dominant-negative PKC-epsilon blocked the induction of GRP78 through ERK by hypoxia, indicating that PKC-epsilon directly participated in GRP78 induction under hypoxia. Taken together, this study shows that a PKC-epsilon-Raf-1-MEK-ERK-AP1 signaling cascade acts on a 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate response element-like element to mediate hypoxia-induced GRP78 expression in human gastric cancer cells. We also confirmed in vivo the overexpression of GRP78 in surgical specimens of human primary gastric tumors.

PMID:
11719466
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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