Activation of MAPK pathways and downstream transcription factors in 2-aminobiphenyl-induced apoptosis.
Overexposure to biphenyl amine compounds, which are found in smoke and azo-dyes, is linked to the occurrence of bladder cancer. However, the molecular mechanisms of biphenyl amine compound-induced bladder cancer are still unclear. Many studies have demonstrated that overexpression of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) in neoplastic lesions is associated with carcinogenesis. In this study, we have demonstrated that 2-aminobiphenyl (2-ABP) up-regulated the expression of COX-2 in a dose- and time-dependent manner in TSGH-8301 bladder cancer cells. This 2-ABP-induced COX-2 expression was attenuated by ROS scavenger NAC and NADPH oxidase inhibitors apocynin and DPI. The p22phox subunit of NADPH oxidase, but not p67, and Nox2 was up-regulated by 2-ABP. Knocking down p22phox by siRNA significantly reduced 2-ABP-induced COX-2 expression. Furthermore, 2-ABP also activated the ERK/JNK-AP1 pathways, and this effect was also abolished by NADPH oxidase inhibitors. Blocking the ERK/JNK-AP1 signaling pathways by pharmacological inhibitors attenuated 2-ABP-induced COX-2 expression. Overexpression of the upstream ERK activator MEK1 significantly and consistently increased 2-ABP-mediated COX-2 expression. Transfection of a dominant negative c-Jun mutant, TAM-67, blocked 2-ABP-mediated COX-2 expression, demonstrating that c-Jun was responsible for the transcriptional activation. Taken together, these results demonstrate that 2-ABP induces the carcinogenic factor COX-2 and that this induction is mediated through NADPH oxidase-derived ROS-dependent JNK/ERK-AP-1 pathways.