We have evaluated the role of various protein kinases on the induction of the gadd (growth arrest and DNA damage inducible) genes, using a panel of protein kinase inhibitors. Our data indicate that three different stress response pathways mediating gadd gene induction are most likely regulated by different protein kinases or combination of protein kinases. The protein kinase inhibitor staurosporine and the temperature sensitive (ts) p34(cdc2) mutant reduced induction by the alkylating agent methylmethane sulfonate (MMS) of the rodent gadd45 and gadd153 genes. However, staurosporine had no effect of the ionizing radiation (IR) induction of the human GADD45. Caffeine and 2-aminopurine, on the other hand, completely blocked this IR induction. Suramin, an antitumor drug that interferes with the interaction of growth factors with their receptors, inhibited the UV radiation induction of GADD45 and GADD153 but had no effect on the MMS and IR pathways. Elevated expression of gadd45 by medium depletion (starvation) was partially reduced by the addition of either genistein or tyrphostin, two protein tyrosine kinase inhibitors, while gadd153 was affected by tyrphostin only. Two inhibitors acting preferentially on cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA), N-[2- (methylamino)ethyl]-5-isoquinolinesulfonamide, HCl (H8) and protein kinase inhibitor (PKI), also had a moderate effect on the medium depletion-induced levels of both gadd genes. Thus, these varied effects of inhibitors on gadd gene responses point to important differences in the pathways controlling these responses.
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