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J Biol Chem. 2003 Feb 21;278(8):5871-82. Epub 2002 Dec 16.

Expression of the serum- and glucocorticoid-inducible protein kinase, Sgk, is a cell survival response to multiple types of environmental stress stimuli in mammary epithelial cells.

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  • 1Department of Molecular and Cell Biology and The Cancer Research Laboratory, The University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, California 94720-3200, USA.

Abstract

The effects of multiple stress stimuli on the cellular utilization of the serum- and glucocorticoid-inducible protein kinase (Sgk) were examined in NMuMg mammary epithelial cells exposed to hyperosmotic stress induced by the organic osmolyte sorbitol, heat shock, ultraviolet irradiation, oxidative stress induced by hydrogen peroxide, or to dexamethasone, a synthetic glucocorticoid that represents a general class of physiological stress hormones. Each of the stress stimuli induced Sgk protein expression with differences in the kinetics and duration of induction and in subcellular localization. The environmental stresses, but not dexamethasone, stimulated Sgk expression through a p38/MAPK-dependent pathway. In each case, a hyperphosphorylated active Sgk protein was produced under conditions in which Akt, the close homolog of Sgk, remained in its non-phosphorylated state. Ectopic expression of wild type Sgk or of the T256D/S422D mutant Sgk that mimics phosphorylation conferred protection against stress-induced cell death in NMuMg cells. In contrast, expression of the T256A/S422A Sgk phosphorylation site mutant has no effect on cell survival. Sgk is known to phosphorylate and negatively regulate pro-apoptotic forkhead transcription factor FKHRL1. The environmental stress stimuli that induce Sgk, but not dexamethasone, strongly inhibited the nuclear transcriptional activity and increased the cytoplasmic retention of FKHRL1. Also, the conditional IPTG inducible expression of wild type Sgk, but not of the kinase dead T256A mutant Sgk, protected Con8 mammary epithelial tumor cells from serum starvation-induced apoptosis. Taken together, our study establishes that induction of enzymatically active Sgk functions as a key cell survival component in response to different environmental stress stimuli.

PMID:
12488318
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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