A Chemical Genetic Approach Reveals That p38 alpha MAPK Activation by Diphosphorylation Aggravates Myocardial Infarction and Is Prevented by the Direct Binding of SB203580

Sarawut Kumphune, Rekha Bassi, Sebastien Jacquet, Pierre Sicard, James E. Clark, Sharwari Verma, Metin Avkiran, Stephen J. O'Keefe, Michael S. Marber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The use of nonselective pharmacological inhibitors has resulted in controversy regarding the mechanism and consequences of p38 activation during myocardial infarction. Classic p38 inhibitors such as SB203580 rely on a critical "gatekeeper" threonine residue for binding. We addressed these controversies by using mice in which the p38 alpha alleles were targeted to cause substitution of the gatekeeper residue and resistance to inhibition. In homozygous drug-resistant compared with wildtype hearts, SB203580 failed to inhibit the activating phosphorylation of p38 or to reduce the infarction caused by myocardial ischemia. However, BIRB796, a p38 inhibitor not reliant on the gatekeeper for binding, similarly reduced p38-activating phosphorylation and infarction in both wild-type and knock-in mice, thereby excluding a nonspecific inhibitor-dependent phenotype resulting from the targeting strategy. Furthermore, the activation during myocardial ischemia involved phosphorylation of both the threonine and tyrosine residues in the activation loop of p38 despite the phosphorylation of the threonine alone being sufficient to create the epitope for dual phosphospecific antibody binding. Finally, SB203580 failed to reduce infarction in heterozygous drug-resistant hearts, suggesting that near complete inhibition of p38 alpha kinase activity is necessary to elicit protection. These results indicate that, during myocardial ischemia, p38 alpha (i) is the dominant-active p38 isoform, (ii) contributes to infarction, (iii) is responsible for the cardioprotective effect of SB203580, and (iv) is activated by a mechanism consistent with autodiphosphorylation despite this necessitating the phosphorylation of a tyrosine residue by an archetypal serine/threonine kinase.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2968-2975
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume285
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'A Chemical Genetic Approach Reveals That p38 alpha MAPK Activation by Diphosphorylation Aggravates Myocardial Infarction and Is Prevented by the Direct Binding of SB203580'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this