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

Inhibition of c-Jun-N-terminal-kinase sensitizes tumor cells to CD95-induced apoptosis and induces G2/M cell cycle arrest.

Loss of susceptibility to apoptosis signals is a crucial step in carcinogenesis. Therefore, sensitization of tumor cells to apoptosis is a promising therapeutic strategy. c-Jun-N-terminal-kinases (JNK) have been implicated in stress-induced apoptosis, but may also contribute to survival signaling. Here we show that CD95- induced apoptosis is augmented by the JNK inhibitor SP600125 and small interfering RNA directed against JNK1/2. SP600125 potently inhibited methyl methane sulfonate-induced phosphorylation of c-Jun, but had minimal effect on apoptosis alone. In contrast, it strongly enhanced CD95-mediated apoptosis in six of eight tumor cell lines and led to a G2/M phase arrest in all cell lines. SP600125 enhanced cleavage of caspase 3 and caspase 8, the most upstream caspase in the CD95 pathway. JNK inhibition up-regulates p53 and its target genes p21Cip1/Waf1 and CD95. However, although HCT116 p53-/- cells and p21+/+ cells were less sensitive to CD95 stimulation than their p53+/+ and p21-/- counterparts, p53 and p21 were not involved in the JNK-mediated effect. JunD, which was described to be protective in tumor necrosis factor-induced apoptosis, was not regulated by JNK inhibition on the protein level. When transcription was blocked by actinomycin D, JNK inhibition still enhanced apoptosis to a comparable extent. We conclude that JNK inhibition has antitumor activity by inducing growth arrest and enhancing CD95-mediated apoptosis by a transcription-independent mechanism.[1]


  1. Inhibition of c-Jun-N-terminal-kinase sensitizes tumor cells to CD95-induced apoptosis and induces G2/M cell cycle arrest. Kuntzen, C., Sonuc, N., De Toni, E.N., Opelz, C., Mucha, S.R., Gerbes, A.L., Eichhorst, S.T. Cancer Res. (2005) [Pubmed]
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