Galectin-3 expression in macrophages is signaled by Ras/MAP kinase pathway and up-regulated by modified lipoproteins

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Galectin-3 expression in macrophages is signaled by Ras/MAP kinase pathway and up-regulated by modified lipoproteins
Koanhoi Kim; E P Mayer; M Nachtigal
Bibliographic Citation
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta-Molecular Cell Research, vol. 1641, no. 1, pp. 13-23
Publication Year
To study the signaling pathway involved in the regulation of galectin-3 expression we used phorbol ester to stimulate macrophage differentiation of THP-1 cells. Treatment with phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) increased significantly the level of expression of galectin-3 in THP-1 cells. PMA-induced galectin-3 overexpression was blocked by: protein kinase C inhibitors staurosporine, calphostin C, and apigenin; tyrosine-specific protein kinase inhibitors genistein and tyrphostin A25; PD 98059, a selective inhibitor of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) kinase 1 (MEK1 or MKK1); and SB 203580, a specific inhibitor of p38 MAPK. Galectin-3 up-regulation was not affected by exposure to two inhibitors of cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA), H-89 and KT5720. Co-transfection of pPG3.5, a plasmid vector containing the rabbit galectin-3 promoter and the constructs pMCL-MKK1 N3 or pRC-RSV-MKK3Glu that constitutively express MKK1 and MKK3, raised the activity of galectin-3 promoter by 185% and 110%, respectively. Co-transfection with a Ha-Ras expression vector stimulated galectin-3 promoter activity approximately 10-fold. Expression of c-Jun or v-Jun raised the level of galectin-3 promoter activity more the three- and fourfold, respectively. Co-transfection of c-Jun and pPG3.5 5′-upstream deletion mutants resulted in a reduction of the galectin-3 promoter activity by 50% to 80%. Transfection of c-Jun, v-Jun or Ha-Ras increased significantly galectin-3 protein in THP-1 cells. These findings indicated that Ras/MEKK1/MKK1-dependent/AP-1 signal transduction pathway plays an important role in the expression of galectin-3 in PMA-stimulated macrophages. We further investigated the effect of modified lipoproteins on galectin-3 expression in macrophages. Murine resident peritoneal macrophages loaded with acetylated low-density lipoprotein (AcLDL) or oxidized LDL (OxLDL) showed increased galectin-3 protein and mRNA. These results showed that treatment of macrophages with PMA or modified lipoproteins results in galectin-3 overexpression. These findings may explain the enhanced expression of galectin-3 in atherosclerotic foam cells and suggest that Ras/MAPK signal transduction pathway is involved in controlling this gene.
Galectin-3JunLipoproteinMAP kinaseProtein kinaseRas
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