Purpose: To determine the involvement of c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase-1 (JNK1) and possibly of HSP27 in heat-induced apoptosis of human monoblastic leukaemia U937 cells. Materials and methods: Dominant negative JNK1 (APF), in which the phosphorylation sites Thr-Pro-Tyr were changed to Ala-Pro-Phe, was overexpressed in U937 cells. Cell viability and DNA fragmentation were analysed by the erythrosin-B dye exclusion test and by agarose gel electrophoresis, respectively. Expression of activated caspase-9, phosphorylated JNK1, JNK2, p38 and HSP27 was examined by Western blotting. JNK1 kinase assay was also performed using c-Jun as a substrate. Results: Loss of viability, activated cleavage form of caspase-9 and DNA fragmentation were rapid in U937 cells after 44°C hyperthermia, while overexpression of dominant negative JNK1 interfered with phosphorylation or activation of JNK1 without affecting that of JNK2 or p38/SAPK, and apparently delayed or reduced cleavage and activation of caspase-9, DNA fragmentation and cell death. Heat-induced phosphorylation of HSP27, observed in parental U937 cells, was suppressed and only slightly detectable in jnk1 mutant cells. Conclusions: Prolonged phosphorylation or activation of JNK1 was considered important for heat-induced apoptosis and JNK1 may control the process possibly through phosphorylation of HSP27 and caspase-9 activation in U937 cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging