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

MEK6 regulates human involucrin gene expression via a p38alpha - and p38delta -dependent mechanism.

A signaling cascade that includes protein kinase C (PKC), Ras, and MEKK1 regulates involucrin (hINV) gene expression in epidermal keratinocytes (Efimova, T., LaCelle, P., Welter, J. F., and Eckert, R. L. (1998) J. Biol. Chem. 273, 24387-24395 and Efimova, T., and Eckert, R. L. (2000) J. Biol. Chem. 275, 1601-1607). Because signal transfer downstream of MEKK1 may involve several MAPK kinases (MEKs), it is important to evaluate the regulatory role of each MEK isoform. In the present study we evaluate the role of MEK6 in transmitting this signal. Constitutively active MEK6 (caMEK6) increases hINV promoter activity and increases endogenous hINV levels. The caMEK6-dependent increase in gene expression is inhibited by the p38 MAPK inhibitor, SB203580, and is associated with a marked increase in p38alpha MAPK activity; JNK and ERK kinases are not activated. In addition, hINV gene expression is inhibited by dominant-negative p38alpha and increased when caMEK6 and p38alpha are co-expressed. caMEK6 also activates p38delta, but p38delta inhibits the caMEK6-dependent activation. These results suggest that MEK6 increases hINV gene expression by regulating the balance between activation of p38alpha, which increases gene expression, and p38delta, which decreases gene expression.[1]


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