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Cancer Res. 1998 Jan 15;58(2):241-7.

Transient stimulation of the c-Jun-NH2-terminal kinase/activator protein 1 pathway and inhibition of extracellular signal-regulated kinase are early effects in paclitaxel-mediated apoptosis in human B lymphoblasts.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts 02167, USA.


We demonstrate here that paclitaxel exposure to RPMI-1788 B lymphoblasts caused a dose- and time-dependent increase in nuclear factor activator protein 1 (AP-1) DNA binding activity. The basal DNA binding activities of nuclear factors NF-kappaB and Ets were not affected by paclitaxel. Consistent with these biochemical events, paclitaxel stimulated AP-1-dependent chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) reporter gene transcription in vivo, as directed from a tetradecanoyl phorbol acetate-inducible promoter. AP-1 binding activity of nuclear extracts isolated from paclitaxel treated cells was reduced following immunodepletion with antibodies directed against individual Jun family proteins, whereas anti-cFos, anti-Fra1, and anti-FosB antibodies were not inhibitory. Paclitaxel caused a rapid and transient increase in c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) activity, a proposed mediator of stress activation pathways. By contrast, exposure to paclitaxel produced a transient reduction in the extracellular signal-regulated mitogen-activated protein kinase 2 (ERK2) activity, a proposed mediator of growth factor-stimulated proliferation pathways. Transient activation of the c-Jun-NH2-terminal kinase/AP-1 pathway, together with down-regulation of ERK2 activity, may be a key event in the early response of RPMI-1788 B lymphoblasts to paclitaxel exposure.

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