c-Jun-N-terminal kinase drives cyclin D1 expression and proliferation during liver regeneration

Authors

  • Robert F. Schwabe,

    1. Departments of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
    2. Departments of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
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  • Cynthia A. Bradham,

    1. Departments of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
    2. Departments of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
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  • Tetsuya Uehara,

    1. Departments of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
    2. Departments of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
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  • Etsuro Hatano,

    1. Departments of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
    2. Departments of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
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  • Brydon L. Bennett,

    1. Signal Research Division, Celgene Corporation, San Diego, CA
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  • Robert Schoonhoven,

    1. Departments of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
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  • David A. Brenner M.D.

    Corresponding author
    1. Departments of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
    2. Departments of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
    • University of North Carolina, Department of Medicine, CB #7038, Chapel Hill, NC 27599; fax: 919-966-7468
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Abstract

The c-Jun-N-terminal kinase (JNK) pathway is strongly activated after partial hepatectomy (PH), but its role in hepatocyte proliferation is not known. In this study, JNK activity was blocked with the small molecule inhibitor JNK SP600125 in vivo and in vitro as shown by a reduction of c-Jun phosphorylation, AP-1 DNA binding activity, and c-jun messenger RNA (mRNA) expression. SP600125 inhibited proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) expression, cyclin D1 mRNA and protein expression and reduced mitotic figures after PH. Survival was reduced significantly 3 days after PH in SP600125-treated versus vehicle-treated rats (3 of 11 vs. 8 of 9, P < .01). In epidermal growth factor (EGF)-treated primary cultures of rat hepatocytes, SP600125 decreased 3H-thymidine uptake, cyclin D1 mRNA and protein expression, and inhibited the EGF-induced transcription of a cyclin D1 promoter-driven reporter gene. The defective regeneration and the decreased survival in SP600125-treated rats did not result from a major increase in apoptosis as shown by normal levels of caspase 3 activity and only slight increases in apoptotic figures. In conclusion, our data show that JNK drives G0 to G1 transition in hepatocytes and that cyclin D1 is a downstream target of the JNK pathway during liver regeneration. (Hepatology 2003;37:824-832.)

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