• p70 S6 kinase;
  • fibroblast growth factor-2;
  • vascular endothelial growth factor;
  • osteoblasts;
  • mitogen-activated protein kinase


To clarify the mechanism of VEGF release in osteoblasts, we studied whether p70 S6 kinase is involved in basic FGF-2–stimulated VEGF release in osteoblast-like MC3T3-E1 cells. In this study, we show that p70 S6 kinase activated by FGF-2 negatively regulates VEGF release through SAPK/JNK in osteoblasts.

Introduction: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) plays an important role in bone metabolism. We have previously reported that fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) stimulates the release of VEGF through p44/p42 mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase and stress-activated protein kinase/c-Jun N-terminal kinase (SAPK/JNK) in osteoblast-like MC3T3-E1 cells and that FGF-2–activated p38 MAP kinase negatively regulates VEGF release. However, the mechanism behind VEGF release in osteoblasts is not precisely known.

Materials and Methods: The levels of VEGF released from MC3T3-E1 cells were measured by enzyme immunoassay. The phosphorylation of each protein kinase was analyzed by Western blotting. To knock down p70 S6 kinase in MC3T3-E1 cells, the cells were transfected with siRNA to target p70 S6 kinase.

Results: FGF-2 time-dependently induced the phosphorylation of p70 S6 kinase. Rapamycin significantly enhanced the FGF-2–stimulated VEGF release and VEGF mRNA expression. The FGF-2–induced phosphorylation of p70 S6 kinase was suppressed by rapamycin. Rapamycin markedly enhanced the FGF-2–induced phosphorylation of SAPK/JNK without affecting the phosphorylation of p44/p42 MAP kinase or p38 MAP kinase. SP600125, a specific inhibitor of SAPK/JNK, suppressed the amplification by rapamycin of the FGF-2–stimulated VEGF release similar to the levels of FGF-2 with SP600125. Finally, downregulation of p70 S6 kinase by siRNA significantly enhanced the FGF-2–stimulated VEGF release and phosphorylation of SAPK/JNK.

Conclusions: These results strongly suggest that p70 S6 kinase limits FGF-2–stimulated VEGF release through self-regulation of SAPK/JNK, composing a negative feedback loop, in osteoblasts.