Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.307, No.4, 870-876, 2003
ASK1 regulates influenza virus infection-induced apoptotic cell death
Apoptosis occurs in influenza virus (IV)-infected cells. There are a number of mechanisms for the regulation of apoptosis. However, the molecular mechanism of IV infection-induced apoptosis is still controversial. Apoptosis signal-regulating kinasel (ASK1) is a ubiquitously expressed mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase (MAPKKK) that activates the SEK1-c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and MKK3/MKK6-p38 MAPK signaling cascades. ASK1 has been implicated in cytokine- and stress-induced apoptosis. Here, we show the following: (1) IV infection activated ASK I and concomitantly phosphorylated JNK and p38 MAPK in human bronchial epithelial cells; (2) the activation of JNK and p38 MAPK but not extracellular-regulated kinase (ERK) in embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) derived from ASK I knockout mice (ASK1(-/-) MEFs) was depressed compared to MEFs derived from wild type mice (ASK1(+/+) MEFs); and (3) ASK1(-/-) MEFs were defective in IV infection-induced caspase-3 activation and cell death. These results indicate that apoptosis in IV-infected BEC is mediated through ASK1-dependent cascades. (C) 2003 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.