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J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2000 Aug;294(2):548-54.

Radicicol suppresses expression of inducible nitric-oxide synthase by blocking p38 kinase and nuclear factor-kappaB/Rel in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated macrophages.

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Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Yusong, Taejon, Korea.


We show that radicicol, a fungal antibiotic, produces a marked inhibition of p38 kinase, nuclear factor-kappaB/Rel (NF-kappaB/Rel), and inducible nitric-oxide synthase (iNOS) transcription by the macrophage line RAW 264.7 in response to lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Treatment of RAW 264.7 with radicicol inhibited LPS-stimulated p38 kinase phosphorylation in a dose-related manner. iNOS transcription, which is regulated in part by the NF-kappaB/Rel family of transcription factors, has been shown to be under the control of the p38 kinase signaling cascade. Our data also show that the p38 kinase pathway is specifically involved in LPS-induced NF-kappaB/Rel activation and iNOS expression because NF-kappaB/Rel DNA binding and iNOS mRNA production in the presence of a specific inhibitor of p38 kinase, SB203580, were dramatically diminished. In contrast, PD98059, a specific inhibitor of mitogen-activated protein kinase/extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase kinase 1 had no effect on NF-kappaB/Rel activation and iNOS expression. LPS-induced loss of inhibitory proteins IkappaB-alpha and IkappaB-beta and translocation of p65, c-Rel, and p50 was inhibited by radicicol. Collectively, this series of experiments indicates that radicicol inhibits iNOS gene expression by blocking p38 kinase signaling. Due to the critical role that NO release plays in mediating inflammatory responses, the inhibitory effects of radicicol on iNOS suggest that this potent antifungal agent may represent a useful anti-inflammatory agent.

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