, Volume 56, Issue 2, pp 109-117

Mitogen Activated Protein Kinase Activation and Oxidant Signaling in Astrocytoma Cells

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Abstract

Presence of increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) has been observed in most high risk factors for brain tumor development. Our past study demonstrated that ROS could induce increased brain tumor cell proliferation. Growth effects of ROS may involve modifications of cellular proteins such as mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), which regulate cell proliferation. Here, we report effects of a ROS (hydrogen peroxide, H2O2) and an antioxidant (N-acetylcysteine, NAC) on MAPK activation in astrocytoma (U373-MG) cells. MAPKs are activated by phosphorylation that can be detected by Western blot analysis. The unphosphorylated/inactivated form of MAPK exhibits slower mobility on SDS-PAGE compared to the phosphorylated/activated form. Densitometric analysis was used to measure MAPK activation. Results indicate that H2O2 caused a dose and time-dependent increase in MAPK activation in astrocytoma cells. Furthermore, ROS-induced activation was almost completely suppressed by NAC. NAC also inhibited serum-induced MAPK activation indicating there may be an oxidant-sensitive component to serum-induced growth signaling. Modifications of MAPKs by H2O2 demonstrate that ROS-induced proliferation is via biochemical pathways similar to other known growth stimuli. Understanding of processes that link a proliferation signal (ROS) to cell proliferation can aid in the selection of therapy used to suppress brain tumor growth.