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

MEF2C regulates c-Jun but not TNF-alpha gene expression in stimulated mast cells.

Mitogen-activated protein kinase ( MAPK) cascades play essential roles in the transduction of extracellular signals to cytoplasmic and nuclear effectors. The MAPK kinase kinase MEKK2 is essential for activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 5 (ERK5). These pathways are important for expression of specific cytokine genes in mast cells following cross-linking of the high-affinity IgE receptor (FcepsilonRI). A consequence of ERK5 activation is activation of the transcriptional factor myocyte enhancing factor-2C (MEF2C), leading to increased c-Jun expression. We have investigated the role of MEF2C activation in mast cells and demonstrated that it requires sequential activation of the signaling cascade of MEKK2-MEK5-ERK5. Following phosphorylation of MEF2C, activated MEF2C regulates transcription of c-Jun but not TNF-alpha. Inhibition of ERK5, MEK5 activation or activation of MEKK2-deficient mast cells was associated with inhibition of MEF2C phosphorylation and a decrease in c-Jun expression. Thus, these data define an activation module, MEKK2-MEK5-ERK5-MEF2C in the transcriptional activation of c-Jun in mast cells following FcepsilonRI cross-linking. These results demonstrate the novel and important, MEKK2-dependent role of MEF2C in induction of c-Jun expression in mast cells activated through FcepsilonRI, a pathway distinct from that involving MEKK2-MEK5-ERK5 in the regulation of mast cell cytokine production.[1]


  1. MEF2C regulates c-Jun but not TNF-alpha gene expression in stimulated mast cells. Wei, X., Sun, W., Fan, R., Hahn, J., Joetham, A., Li, G., Webb, S., Garrington, T., Dakhama, A., Lucas, J., Johnson, G.L., Gelfand, E.W. Eur. J. Immunol. (2003) [Pubmed]
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