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Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2005 Jan;32(1):72-81. Epub 2004 Nov 4.

Matrix metalloproteinase/epidermal growth factor receptor/mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling regulate fra-1 induction by cigarette smoke in lung epithelial cells.

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Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Bloomberg School of Public Health, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA.


Exposure to cigarette smoke (CS) can lead to the development of lung cancer, but the molecular mechanisms underlying this process remain unclear. Given that activator protein 1 (AP-1) regulates genes involved in both physiologic and pathophysiologic processes, we have investigated the effects of CS on Jun and Fos family member expression and regulation using a nonmalignant human bronchial epithelial cell line, 1HAEo. Exposure to CS caused a marked upregulation of c-Jun, c-Fos, and Fra-1, but not of Fra-2, Jun-B, and Jun-D expression. Because Fra-1 is overexpressed in various tumors and upregulates genes associated with tumor progression, we further elucidated the mechanisms that control CS-stimulated fra-1 induction. CS stimulated fra-1 induction primarily at the transcriptional level. However, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-specific inhibitor, AG1478, completely suppressed CS-stimulated fra-1 expression. Similarly, the specific inhibitors of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), c-Jun NH2 terminal kinase (JNK), and p38 kinase signaling markedly suppressed fra-1 induction. Consistent with this finding, AG1478 blocked CS-stimulated ERK, JNK, and p38 phosphorylation. These results suggest that EGFR-activated multiple kinase signaling is essential for fra-1 induction. Furthermore, treatment of cells with GM6001, which inhibits matrix metalloproteinase activity, significantly suppressed CS-stimulated EGF shedding, EGFR and ERK kinase phosphorylation, and subsequent fra-1 induction. Collectively, our findings indicate an obligatory role for metalloproteinase-EGFR-mediated mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling in controlling CS-induced fra-1 expression.

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