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Cell Signal. 2007 Feb;19(2):393-400. Epub 2006 Jul 25.

Feedback control of MKP-1 expression by p38.

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Signal Transduction Lab of Institute of Health Sciences, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences [corrected] Chinese Academy of Sciences & [corrected] Shanghai Jiao-Tong University School of Medicine, China.

Erratum in

  • Cell Signal. 2007 Nov;19(11):2414.


Mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases play a critical role in innate immune responses to microbial infection through eliciting the biosynthesis of proinflammatory cytokines. MAP phosphatases (MKP)-1 is an archetypical member of the dual-specificity phosphatase family that deactivates MAP kinases. Induction of MKP-1 has been implicated in attenuating the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and Peptidoglycan (PGN) responses, but how the expression of the MKP-1 is regulated is still not fully understood. Here, we show that inhibition of p38 MAP kinase by specific inhibitor SB 203580 or RNA interference (RNAi) markedly reduced the expression of MKP-1 in LPS or PGN-treated macrophages, which is correlated with prolonged activation of p38 and JNK. Depletion of MAPKAP kinase 2 (MK2), a downstream substrate of p38, by RNAi also inhibited the expression of MKP-1. The mRNA level of MKP-1 is not affected by inhibition of p38, but the expression of MKP-1 is inhibited by treatment of cycloheximide. Thus, p38 MAPK plays a critical role in mediating expression of MKP-1 at a post-transcriptional level. Furthermore, inhibition of p38 by SB 203580 prevented the expression of MKP-1 in LPS-tolerized macrophages, restored the activation of MAP kinases after LPS restimulation. These results indicate a critical role of p38-MK2-dependent induction of MKP-1 in innate immune responses.

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