Several primary murine and human B lymphomas and cell lines were found to constitutively express high levels of the activated form of c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), a member of the mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase family. Proliferation of murine B lymphomas CH31, CH12.Lx, BKS-2, and WEHI-231 and the human B lymphomas BJAB, RAMOS, RAJI, OCI-Ly7, and OCI-Ly10 was strongly inhibited by SP600125, an anthrapyrazolone inhibitor of JNK, in a dose-dependent manner. The lymphoma cells underwent apoptosis and arrested at the G2/M phase of cell cycle. Furthermore, JNK-specific small interfering RNA (siRNA) inhibited the growth of both murine and human B lymphomas. Thus in the B-lymphoma model, JNK appears to have a unique prosurvival role. Survival signals provided by CD40 and interleukin-10 (IL-10) together reversed the growth inhibition induced by the JNK inhibitor. c-Myc protein levels were reduced in the presence of both SP600125 and JNK-specific siRNA, and CD40 ligation restored c-Myc levels. Moreover, Bcl-xL rescued WEHI-231 cells from apoptosis induced by the JNK inhibitor. The JNK inhibitor also reduced levels of early growth response gene-1 (Egr-1) protein, and overexpressing Egr-1 partially rescued lymphoma cells from apoptosis. Thus, JNK may act via c-Myc and Egr-1, which were shown to be important for B-lymphoma survival and growth.
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Supported by National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants AI 21490, AG 05731, and CA 92372 to S. B.
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Gururajan, Murali; Chui, Roger; Karuppannan, Anbu K.; Ke, Jiyuan; Jennings, C. Darrell; and Bondada, Subbarao, "c-Jun N-terminal Kinase (JNK) is Required for Survival and Proliferation of B-lymphoma Cells" (2005). Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics Faculty Publications. 131.