Ajoene-induced cell death in human promyeloleukemic cells does not require JNK but is amplified by the inhibition of ERK.

Oncogene

PubMedID: 12555071

Antlsperger DS, Dirsch VM, Ferreira D, Su JL, Kuo ML, Vollmar AM. Ajoene-induced cell death in human promyeloleukemic cells does not require JNK but is amplified by the inhibition of ERK. Oncogene. 2003;22(4):582-9.
Treatment of human promyeloleukemic HL-60 cells with the experimental antileukemic drug ajoene induces the activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) c-Jun NH(2)-terminal kinase (JNK), p38 and extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK) 1/2 as well as the survival kinase Akt. JNK activation occurred in HL-60/neo, HL-60/bcl-x(L), and in HL-60 cells pretreated with the pan-caspase inhibitor zVAD-fmk, indicating that JNK activation is not dependent on ajoene-induced mitochondria perturbation and subsequent caspase activation. Cells overexpressing a dominant-negative JNK showed no altered sensitivity towards ajoene suggesting that the activation of JNK is not necessary for ajoene-induced cell death. Inhibition of p38 MAPK by SB 203580 had no influence on ajoene-mediated apoptosis. In contrast, inhibition of ERK1/2 vastly enhanced ajoene-induced cell death. The survival kinase Akt, in contrast, did not participate in ajoene-induced death signaling as shown by the use of the phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase inhibitor wortmannin. Thus in contrast to the previous findings regarding stress-induced cell death, ajoene-mediated activation of JNK and p38 has no impact on ajoene-induced apoptosis in HL-60 cells. Blockade of ERK1/2 but not Akt pathways leads to sensitization of cells against ajoene-mediated apoptosis supporting the view that inhibition of ERK1/2 is a valuable strategy to increase the sensitivity of promyeloleukemic cells towards ajoene.