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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1996 Sep 24;226(3):810-8.

Inhibition of the expression of inducible cyclooxygenase and proinflammatory cytokines by sesquiterpene lactones in macrophages correlates with the inhibition of MAP kinases.

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Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge 70808, USA.


In our previous studies (Refs. 1 and 2), it was shown that protein tyrosine kinase (PTK) inhibitors, radicicol and herbimycin A, inhibit the expression of the mitogen-inducible cyclooxygenase (COX-2) and proinflammatory cytokines. Radicicol and herbimycin A possess polarized double bonds which can conjugate sulphydryl groups of proteins. Parthenolide, the predominant sesquiterpene lactone in European feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium), contains alpha-methylene-gamma-lactone (MGL) and an epoxide in its structure. These moieties can interact with biological nucleophiles such as a sulfhydryl group. Parthenolide inhibited the expression of COX-2 and proinflammatory cytokines (TNF alpha and IL-1) in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated macrophages. The structure-function relationship indicates that the MGL moiety confers the inhibitory effect. Parthenolide suppressed LPS-stimulated protein tyrosine phosphorylation in the murine macrophage cell line (RAW 264.7). This suppression was correlated with its inhibitory effect on the expression of COX-2 and the cytokines. Among tyrosine phosphorylated proteins, mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) exhibited the most dramatic inhibition.

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