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J Cell Physiol. 1999 Apr;179(1):109-14.

Cell-type-specific activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase by salicylates.

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Department of Microbiology, Kaplan Cancer Center, New York University Medical Center, New York 10016, USA.


Salicylates inhibit signaling by tumor necrosis factor (TNF), including TNF-induced activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs). On the other hand, we recently showed that in normal human diploid fibroblasts sodium salicylate (NaSal) elicits activation of p38 MAPK but not activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK). Here we show that NaSal treatment of COS-1 or HT-29 cells produced a sustained c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) activation. Activation of JNK or p38 MAPK by NaSal (or aspirin) was not due to a nonspecific hyperosmotic effect because much higher molar concentrations of sorbitol or NaCl were required to produce a similar activation. Three structurally unrelated nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and indomethacin) failed to induce significant activation of JNK or p38 MAPK, suggesting that cyclooxygenase inhibition is not the underlying mechanism whereby salicylates induce p38 MAPK and JNK activation. Activation of JNK and p38 MAPKs may be relevant for some antiinflammatory actions of salicylates.

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