Role of MKP-1 (DUSP1) in clozapine-induced effects on the ERK1/2 signaling pathway in the rat frontal cortex
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- Kim, S.H., Yu, H.S., Park, H.G. et al. Psychopharmacology (2013) 230: 425. doi:10.1007/s00213-013-3165-y
Clozapine affects the extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) pathway in the brain, which plays an important role in its antipsychotic action. However, previous findings are inconsistent, and related molecular mechanisms require further clarification.
Time- and dose-dependent effects of clozapine on the ERK1/2 pathway and its regulatory mechanism were investigated in rat frontal cortex.
Methods and results
At 15, 30, 60, and 120 min after intraperitoneal injection of clozapine (5, 10, and 20 mg/kg), changes in ERK1/2, its upstream canonical kinases (Raf1 and mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 1/2 [MEK1/2]), and its downstream molecule (p90 ribosomal S6 kinase [p90RSK]) were investigated in rat frontal cortex. At 15 min, p-Raf1, p-MEK1/2, p-ERK1/2, and p-p90RSK all increased dose-dependently. At 30 min, p-ERK1/2 and p-p90RSK showed no significant changes, while dose-dependent increases in p-Raf1 and p-MEK1/2 were found. At 60 and 120 min, although p-ERK1/2 and p-p90RSK decreased, increases in p-Raf1 and p-MEK1/2 were maintained. A clozapine-induced reduction in ERK1/2 phosphorylation was evident at both tyrosine and threonine residues, suggesting the involvement of dual specificity phosphatases (DUSPs; mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphatases [MKPs]). mRNA expression of seven Dusps that can dephosphorylate ERK1/2 were examined; Mkp-1 (Dusp1) mRNA increased following clozapine treatment. Moreover, MKP-1 protein and phosphatase activity increased, and binding of MKP-1 to ERK1/2 was also upregulated by clozapine administration.
In rat frontal cortex, clozapine regulates ERK1/2 phosphorylation via MKP-1, which induces uncoupling between Raf1-MEK1/2 and ERK1/2-p90RSK activity. These findings suggest an important role of MKP-1 in the mechanism of action of clozapine.