Activation of stress signaling pathways by the end product of lipid peroxidation: 4-Hydroxy-2-nonenal is a potential inducer of intracellular peroxide production

Koji Uchida, Mihoko Shiraishi, Yuko Naito, Yasuyoshi Torii, Yoshimasa Nakamura, Toshihiko Osawa

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529 Citations (Scopus)


In the present study, we studied the signal transduction mechanism that is involved in the expression of c-Jun protein evident after exposure of rat liver epithelial RL34 cells to the major end product of oxidized fatty acid metabolism, 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal (HNE). HNE treatment of the cells resulted in depletion of intracellular glutathione (GSH) and in the formation of protein- bound HNE in plasma membrane. In addition, HNE strongly induced intracellular peroxide production, suggesting that HNE exerted oxidative stress on the cells. Potent expression of c-Jun occurred within 30 min of HNE treatment, which was accompanied by a time-dependent increase in activator protein-1 (AP-1) DNA binding activity. We found that HNE caused an immediate increase in tyrosine phosphorylation in RL34 cells. In addition, HNE strongly induced phosphorylation of c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNK) and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinases and also moderately induced phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinases. The phosphorylation of JNK was accompanied by a rapid and transient increase in JNK and p38 activities, whereas changes in the activity of extracellular signal-regulated kinase were scarcely observed. GSH depletion by L-buthionine-S,R-sulfoximine, a specific inhibitor of GSH biosynthesis, only slightly enhanced peroxide production and JNK activation, suggesting that HNE exerted these effects independent of GSH depletion. This and the findings that (i) HNE strongly induced intracellular peroxide production, (ii) HNE-induced JN-K activation was inhibited by pretreatment of the cells with a thiol antioxidant, N-acetylcysteine, and (iii) H2O2 significantly activated JNK support the hypothesis that pro-oxidants play a crucial role in the HNE-induced activation of stress signaling pathways. In addition, we found that, among the inhibitors of tyrosine kinases, cyclooxygenase, and Ca2+ influx, only quercetin exerted a significant inhibitory effect on HNE-induced JNK activation. In light of the JNK- dependent induction of c-jun transcription and the AP-1-induced transcription of xenobiotic-metabolizing enzymes, these data may show a potential critical role for JNK in the induction of a cellular defense program against toxic products generated from lipid peroxidation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2234-2242
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 22 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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