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Exp Cell Res. 2003 Nov 15;291(1):251-66.

Oxidative stress-induced apoptosis is mediated by ERK1/2 phosphorylation.

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Division of Molecular Life Sciences, Ewha Woman's University, College of Natural Science, Seoul 120-750, Korea.


Oxidative stress is known to induce apoptosis in a wide variety of cell types, apparently by modulating intracellular signaling pathways. High concentrations of H2O2 have been found to induce apoptosis in L929 mouse fibroblast cells. To elucidate the mechanisms of H2O2-mediated apoptosis, ERK1/2, p38-MAPK, and JNK1/2 phosphorylation was examined, and ERK1/2 and JNK1/2 were found to be activated by H2O2. Inhibition of ERK1/2 activation by treatment of L929 cells with PD98059 or dominant-negative ERK2 transfection blocked H2O2-induced apoptosis, while inhibition of JNK1/2 by dominant-negative JNK1 or JNK2 or MKK4 or MKK7 transfection did not affect H2O2-mediated apoptosis. H2O2-mediated ERK1/2 activation was not only Ras-Raf dependent, but also both tyrosine kinase (PDGFbeta receptor and Src) and PKCdelta dependent. H2O2-mediated PKCdelta-dependent and tyrosine kinase-dependent ERK1/2 activations were independent from each other. Based on the above results, we suggest for the first time that oxidative damage-induced apoptosis is mediated by ERK1/2 phosphorylation which is not only Ras-Raf dependent, but also both tyrosine kinase and PKCdelta dependent.

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