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

Differentiation state-selective roles of p38 isoforms in human intestinal epithelial cell anoikis.

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Little is known of the signaling events implicated in the induction of human enterocytic anoikis. In the present study, we analyzed the role of the stress-activated protein kinase p38 in this process. METHODS: Anoikis was induced in undifferentiated and differentiated enterocytes by inhibition of focal adhesion kinase (Fak; pharmacologic inhibition or overexpression of a dominant negative form) or beta1 integrins (antibody blocking), or by maintaining cells in suspension. Expression/activation parameters of p38 (isoforms alpha, beta, gamma, delta) and of the Fak/phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3-K)/Akt anoikis-suppressing pathways were analyzed. Kinase activities of p38 isoforms also were blocked by pharmacologic inhibitors or by overexpression of dominant-negative forms. RESULTS: (1) p38 activation is sustained transiently after induction of anoikis in both undifferentiated and differentiated enterocytes; (2) such sustenance of p38 activation is associated with a down-regulation of the Fak/PI3-K/Akt pathway; (3) distinct profiles of p38 isoform expression are exhibited by undifferentiated (alpha, beta, gamma) and differentiated (alpha, gamma, delta) enterocytes; (4) none of the 4 known p38 isoforms was found to promote cell survival in either differentiation state; and (5) only p38beta and p38delta are required specifically for anoikis in undifferentiated and differentiated cells, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Distinct p38 isoforms play a major role in the induction of enterocytic anoikis and the regulation of such selective p38 isoform-mediated anoikis is linked with the state of cell differentiation. These data provide novel insights into the synchronized regulation of cell survival/death required in the epithelial renewal process along the human intestinal crypt-villus axis.[1]


  1. Differentiation state-selective roles of p38 isoforms in human intestinal epithelial cell anoikis. Vachon, P.H., Harnois, C., Grenier, A., Dufour, G., Bouchard, V., Han, J., Landry, J., Beaulieu, J.F., Vézina, A., Dydensborg, A.B., Gauthier, R., Côté, A., Drolet, J.F., Lareau, F. Gastroenterology (2002) [Pubmed]
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