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Cell Cycle. 2007 Jul 1;6(13):1539-48. Epub 2007 May 18.

MAPK kinases as nucleo-cytoplasmic shuttles for PPARgamma.

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Department of Medicine II, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technical University, Munich, Germany.


Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPARgamma) is a ligand-activated transcription factor of the nuclear receptor superfamily that regulates genes involved in differentiation, metabolism and immunity. PPARgamma-ligands are used for therapy of type 2 diabetes and hold the promise for treatment of inflammation and cancer. As a central regulatory component, PPARgamma activity is well regulated during various cellular processes, and indeed mitogenic stimulation often suppresses PPARgamma's genomic activity. This downregulation is mediated largely by the extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERKs)/mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) signaling cascade, which attenuates PPARgamma's transactivation function either by an inhibitory phosphorylation or by modulating PPARgamma's nucleo-cytoplasmic compartmentalization. The latter is achieved by the mitogen-induced nuclear export of PPARgamma through its direct interaction with the ERK cascade component MAPK/ERK-kinases 1/2 (MEKs). Upon mitogenic stimulation, MEKs translocate into the nucleus, but are rapidly exported from this location by their N-terminal nuclear export signal (NES), in a process that is accompanied by the export of their interacting nuclear PPARgamma molecules. Interestingly, it was recently demonstrated that PPARgamma has cytoplasmatic activities, and therefore, the MEK-dependent shuttle may also represent a mechanism for control of the extra-nuclear/nongenomic actions of PPARgamma. Because of the similarity within nuclear receptor docking motifs, it is possible that the same mechanism may control the nuclear and cytoplasmatic activity of other receptors. The changes in the subcellular localization of PPARgamma may also represent novel targets for selective interference in patients with chronic inflammatory or proliferation-related diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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