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J Biol Chem. 2002 May 3;277(18):15229-32. Epub 2002 Mar 12.

Activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2, but not p38 and c-Jun N-terminal kinase, is involved in signaling of a novel cytokine, ML-1.

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Johns Hopkins Asthma and Allergy Center and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21224, USA.


A novel cytokine, ML-1, was recently discovered, which shares a similar sequence homology with, but is functionally distinct from, IL-17 (Kawaguchi, M., Onuchic, L., Li, X. D., Essayan, D. M., Schroeder, J., Xiao, H. Q., Liu, M. C., Krishnaswamy, G., Germino, G., and Huang, S. K. (2001) J. Immunol. 167, 4430-4435). To determine the signaling mechanisms of ML-1, we investigated activation of mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases induced by ML-1. Results show that ML-1 induces in a time-dependent fashion the expression of IL-6 and IL-8 in both primary bronchial epithelial cells (PBECs) and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). ML-1 activated a MAP kinase and an extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2 but not p38 or the c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) in both cell types. Selective MAP kinase kinase (MEK)1/2 inhibitors, PD98059 and U0126, inhibited, in a dose-dependent manner, ML-1-induced expression of IL-6 and IL-8. These findings suggest that ML-1-induced IL-6 and IL-8 production is mediated through the activation of ERK1/2 in both cell types.

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