Activation of the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase mediates the suppressive effects of type I interferons and transforming growth factor-β on normal hematopoiesis

Amit Verma, Dilip K. Deb, Antonella Sassano, Shahab Uddin, John Varga, Amittha Wickrema, Leonidas C. Platanias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

145 Scopus citations

Abstract

Type I interferons (IFNs) are potent regulators of normal hematopoiesis in vitro and in vivo, but the mechanisms by which they suppress hematopoietic progenitor cell growth and differentiation are not known. In the present study we provide evidence that IFNα and IFNβ induce phosphorylation of the p38 mitogen-activated protein (Map) kinase in CD34+-derived primitive human hematopoietic progenitors. Such type I IFN-inducible phosphorylation of p38 results in activation of the catalytic domain of the kinase and sequential activation of the MAPK-activated protein kinase-2 (MapKapK-2 kinase), indicating the existence of a signaling cascade, activated downstream of p38 in hematopoietic progenitors. Our data indicate that activation of this signaling cascade by the type I IFN receptor is essential for the generation of the suppressive effects of type I IFNs on normal hematopoiesis. This is shown by studies demonstrating that pharmacological inhibitors of p38 reverse the growth inhibitory effects of IFNα and IFNβ on myeloid (colony-forming granulocytic-macrophage) and eythroid (burst-forming unit-erythroid) progenitor colony formation. In a similar manner, transforming growth factor β, which also exhibits inhibitory effects on normal hematopoiesis, activates p38 and MapKapK-2 in human hematopoietic progenitors, whereas pharmacological inhibitors of p38 reverse its suppressive activities on both myeloid and erythroid colony formation. In further studies, we demonstrate that the primary mechanism by which the p38 Map kinase pathway mediates hematopoietic suppression is regulation of cell cycle progression and is unrelated to induction of apoptosis. Altogether, these findings establish that the p38 Map kinase pathway is a common effector for type I IFN and transforming growth factor βsignaling in human hematopoietic progenitors and plays a critical role in the induction of the suppressive effects of these cytokines on normal hematopoiesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7726-7735
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume277
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 8 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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