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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1997 Apr 1;94(7):2869-73.

Sodium salicylate induces apoptosis via p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase but inhibits tumor necrosis factor-induced c-Jun N-terminal kinase/stress-activated protein kinase activation.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, New York University Medical Center, NY 10016, USA.


In a previous study, we demonstrated that sodium salicylate (NaSal) selectively inhibits tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-induced activation of the p42 and p44 mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) (known as extracellular signal-regulated kinases). Here we show that in normal human FS-4 fibroblasts NaSal inhibits TNF-induced activation of another member of the MAPK family, the c-Jun N-terminal kinase/stress-activated protein kinase. c-Jun N-terminal kinase activation induced by interleukin 1 or epidermal growth factor was less strongly inhibited by NaSal. Unexpectedly, treatment of FS-4 cells with NaSal alone produced a strong activation of p38 MAPK and cell death by apoptosis. NaSal-induced apoptosis was blocked by the selective p38 MAPK inhibitor SB-203580, indicating that p38 MAPK serves as a mediator of NaSal-induced apoptosis in human fibroblasts. Activation of p38 MAPK and the resulting induction of apoptosis may be important in the demonstrated antineoplastic actions of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

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