Inhibitors of protein synthesis, such as anisomycin and cycloheximide, lead to superinduction of immediate-early genes. We demonstrate that these two drugs activate intracellular signaling pathways involving both the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and stress-activated protein kinase (SAPK) cascades. The activation of either pathway correlates with phosphorylation of the c-fos regulatory transcription factor Elk-1. In HeLa cells, anisomycin stabilizes c-fos mRNA when protein synthesis is inhibited to only 50%. Under these conditions, anisomycin, in contrast to cycloheximide, rapidly induces kinase activation and efficient Elk-1 phosphorylation. However, full inhibition of translation by either drug leads to prolonged activation of SAPK activity, while MAPK induction is transient. This correlates with prolonged Elk-1 phosphorylation and c-fos transcription. Elk-1 induction and c-fos activation are also observed in KB cells, in which anisomycin strongly induces SAPKs but not MAPKs. Purified p54 SAPK alpha efficiently phosphorylates the Elk-1 C-terminal domain in vitro and comigrates with anisomycin-activated kinases in in-gel kinase assays. Thus, Elk-1 provides a potential convergence point for the MAPK and SAPK signaling pathways. The activation of signal cascades and control of transcription factor function therefore represent prominent processes in immediate-early gene superinduction.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Molecular and Cellular Biology|
|Publication status||Published - Sep 1995|