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J Biol Chem. 1997 May 23;272(21):13683-9.

Lysophosphatidylcholine stimulates activator protein 1 and the c-Jun N-terminal kinase activity.

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Division of Medicine, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


Lysophosphatidylcholine (lyso-PC), a natural lipid generated through the action of phospholipase A2 on membrane phosphatidylcholine, has been implicated in atherogenesis and the inflammatory process. In vitro studies have established a role for lyso-PC in modulation of gene expression and other cellular responses including differentiation and proliferation. There is also evidence that lyso-PC may act as an intracellular second messenger transducing signals elicited from membrane-associated receptors. The mechanisms behind the diverse activities of lyso-PC are poorly understood. We report, in this study, that treatment of cultured cells with exogenous lyso-PC, at nontoxic concentrations, potently induced activator protein-1 (AP-1) DNA binding and transcriptional activity independent of well known AP-1 activators, protein kinase C or mitogen-activated protein kinases ERK1 and ERK2. Lyso-PC also activated the c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK/SAPK), a recently characterized member of the mitogen-activated protein kinase family, known to activate AP-1. The stimulated JNK and AP-1 activities probably mediate or contribute to some bioactive effects of lyso-PC.

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