TNF-α and IL-1β-activated human mesenchymal stromal cells increase airway epithelial wound healing in vitro via activation of the epidermal growth factor receptor
To investigate the contribution that ERK/mitogen-activated protein kinase signalling makes to cell cycle progression and gene expression, we have constructed cell lines to express an inducible version of activated MEK1. Using these cells, we show that activation of MEK leads to the expression of Fra-1 and Fra-2 but not c-Fos. Treatment of Ras-transformed cells with the MEK inhibitor PD098059 blocks expression of Fra-1 and Fra-2, showing that in Ras transformation ERK signalling is responsible for Fra-1 and Fra-2 expression. Activation of MEK1 in growth-arrested cells leads to DNA synthesis; however, ERK activation alone is insufficient because the induction of DNA synthesis is blocked by inhibition of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-kinase). Activation of PI3-kinase is indirect, perhaps through autocrine growth factors, and is required for the induction of cyclin D1.