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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Extracellular nucleotides activate the p38-stress-activated protein kinase cascade in glomerular mesangial cells.

1. Extracellular ATP and UTP have been reported to activate a nucleotide receptor ( P2Y2-receptor) that mediates arachidonic acid release with subsequent prostaglandin formation, a reaction critically depending on the activity of a cytosolic phospholipase A2. In addition, extracellular nucleotides trigger activation of the classical mitogen-activated protein kinase ( MAPK) cascade and cell proliferation as well as of the stress-activated protein kinase (SAPK) cascade. 2. In this study, we report that ATP and UTP are also able to activate the p38- MAPK pathway as measured by phosphorylation of the p38- MAPK and its upstream activators MKK3/6, as well as phosphorylation of the transcription factor ATF2 in a immunocomplex-kinase assay. 3. Time courses reveal that ATP and UTP induce a rapid and transient activation of the p38- MAPK activity with a maximal activation after 5 min of stimulation which declined to control levels over the next 20 min. 4. A series of ATP and UPT analogues were tested for their ability to stimulate p38- MAPK activity. UTP and ATP were very effective analogues to activate p38- MAPK, whereas ADP and gamma-thio-ATP had only moderate activating effects. 2-Methyl-thio-ATP, beta gamma-imido-ATP, AMP, adenosine and UDP had no significant effects of p38- MAPK activity. In addition, the extracellular nucleotide-mediated effect on p38- MAPK was almost completely blocked by 1 mM of suramin, a putative P2-purinoceptor antagonist. 5. In summary, these results demonstrate for the first time that extracellular nucleotides are able to activate the MKK3/6- p38- MAPK cascade most likely via the P2Y2-receptor. Moreover, this finding implies that all three MAPK subtypes are signalling candidates for extracellular nucleotide-stimulated cell responses.[1]


  1. Extracellular nucleotides activate the p38-stress-activated protein kinase cascade in glomerular mesangial cells. Huwiler, A., Wartmann, M., van den Bosch, H., Pfeilschifter, J. Br. J. Pharmacol. (2000) [Pubmed]
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