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Neurochem Res. 2007 Jan;32(1):115-24. Epub 2006 Dec 9.

Cis-parinaric acid effects, cytotoxicity, c-Jun N-terminal protein kinase, forkhead transcription factor and Mn-SOD differentially in malignant and normal astrocytes.

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Department of Neurosurgery, University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics, Iowa, IA 52242, USA.


Cis-parinaric acid (c-PNA), a natural four conjugated polyunsaturated fatty acid, increases free radical production and it is preferentially cytotoxic to malignant glial cells compared to normal astrocytes in-vitro. In order to explain the increased cytotoxicity of c-PNA in malignant glial cells, we compared the effects of c-PNA on the oxidative stress-dependent signal transducing events in 36B10 cells, a malignant rat astrocytoma cell line, and in fetal rat astrocytes. Our results show that c-PNA treatment in 36B10 cells caused a persistent activation of c-Jun N-terminal protein kinase (JNK) at RNA and protein levels. Specific inhibitors of the kinase significantly reversed the cytotoxicity of c-PNA. Additionally, c-PNA caused the phosphorylated inactivation of forkhead transcription factor-3a (FKHR-L1, FOXO3a) and drastically decreased the activity of mitochondrial superoxide dismutase (Mn-SOD) that protects cells from oxidative stress. On the other hand, identical c-PNA treatments in normal astrocytes increased the dephosphorylated activation of FKHR-L1, maintained activity of Mn-SOD and failed to phosphorylate JNK. Taken together, the results imply that a selective activation of JNK and the opposite regulation of FKHR-L1 and Mn-SOD contribute to the differential cytotoxicity of c-PNA in malignant and normal glial cells.

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