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

Glycogen synthase kinase 3beta is a negative regulator of growth factor- induced activation of the c-Jun N-terminal kinase.

The c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK)/stress activated protein kinase is preferentially activated by stress stimuli. Growth factors, particularly ligands for G protein-coupled receptors, usually induce only modest JNK activation, although they may trigger marked activation of the related extracellular signal-regulated kinase. In the present study, we demonstrated that homozygous disruption of glycogen synthase kinase 3beta (GSK-3beta) dramatically sensitized mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) to JNK activation induced by lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) and sphingosine-1-phosphate, two prototype ligands for G protein-coupled receptors. To a lesser degree, a lack of GSK-3beta also potentiated JNK activation in response to epidermal growth factor. In contrast, the absence of GSK-3beta decreased UV light- induced JNK activation. The increased JNK activation induced by LPA in GSK-3beta null MEFs was insufficient to trigger apoptotic cell death or growth inhibition. Instead, the increased JNK activation observed in GSK-3beta-/- MEFs was associated with an increased proliferative response to LPA, which was reduced by the inhibition of JNK. Ectopic expression of GSK-3beta in GSK-3beta-negative MEFs restrained LPA- triggered JNK phosphorylation and induced a concomitant decrease in the mitogenic response to LPA compatible with GSK-3beta through the inhibition of JNK activation, thus limiting LPA-induced cell proliferation. Mutation analysis indicated that GSK-3beta kinase activity was required for GSK-3beta to optimally inhibit LPA- stimulated JNK activation. Thus GSK-3beta serves as a physiological switch to specifically repress JNK activation in response to LPA, sphingosine-1-phosphate, or the epidermal growth factor. These results reveal a novel role for GSK-3beta in signal transduction and cellular responses to growth factors.[1]


  1. Glycogen synthase kinase 3beta is a negative regulator of growth factor-induced activation of the c-Jun N-terminal kinase. Liu, S., Yu, S., Hasegawa, Y., Lapushin, R., Xu, H.J., Woodgett, J.R., Mills, G.B., Fang, X. J. Biol. Chem. (2004) [Pubmed]
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