Raf-1 activation and Bcl-2 hyperphosphorylation following treatment with paclitaxel (Taxol) or other microtubule-active drugs is associated with mitotic arrest. Here we show that microtubule-active drugs do not activate the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway in leukemia cells. PD98059, a MEK inhibitor, and SB202190, a p38 MAP kinase inhibitor, do not abrogate Bcl-2 phosphorylation nor apoptosis. Simultaneously with PARP cleavage, paclitaxel induces cleavage of Bcl-2 protein yielding a potentially pro-apoptotic 22 kDa product. In comparison, the stimulation of Raf-1 by phorbol ester (TPA) activates the MAPK pathway, causes MAPK-dependent p21(WAF1/CIP1) induction, Rb dephosphorylation and growth arrest without Bcl-2 phosphorylation or apoptosis. Like TPA, cAMP induces p21(WAF1/CIP1) but does not cause Bcl-2 phosphorylation. MEKK1 and as, upstream activators of JNK and ERK MAPK, also fail to induce Bcl-2 hyperphosphorylation. Although Lck tyrosine kinase has been recently implicated in Raf-1 activation during mitotic arrest, microtubule-active drugs induce Raf-1/Bcl-2 hyperphosphorylation and apoptosis in a Lck-deficient Jurkat cells. Therefore, microtubule-active drugs induce apoptosis which is associated with Raf-1 and Bcl-2 phosphorylation and Bcl-2 cleavage but is independent of the MAPK pathway. In contrast, TPA-activated MAPK pathway causes p21(WAF1/CIPC1)-dependent growth arrest without apoptosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research