Adenosine triphosphate regulates NADPH oxidase activity leading to hydrogen peroxide production and COX-2/PGE 2 expression in A549 cells

Chih Chung Lin, I-Ta Lee, Wan Ling Wu, Wei Ning Lin, Chuen Mao Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) accounts for most of all lung cancers, which is the leading cause of mortality in human beings. High level of cyclooxygenase- 2 (COX-2) is one of the features of NSCLC and related to the low survival rate of NSCLC. However, whether extracellular nucleotides releasing from stressed resident tissues contributes to the expression of COX-2 remains unclear. Here, we showed that stimulation of A549 cells by adenosine 5'-O-(3-thiotriphosphate) (ATPγS) led to an increase in COX-2 gene expression and prostaglandin E 2 (PGE 2) synthesis, revealed by Western blotting, RT-PCR, promoter assay, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. In addition, ATPγS induced intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation through the activation of NADPH oxidase. The increase of ROS level resulted in activation of the c-Src/epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)/phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (Akt)/ nuclear factor (NF)-κB cascade. We also found that activated Akt was translocated into the nucleus and recruited with NF-κB and p300 to form a complex. Thus, activation of p300 modulated the acetylation of histone H4 via the NADPH oxidase/c-Src/EGFR/PI3K/Akt/NF-κB cascade stimulated by ATPγS. Our results are the first to show a novel role of NADPH oxidase-dependent Akt/p65/p300 complex formation that plays a key role in regulating COX-2/PGE 2 expression in ATPγStreated A549 cells. Taken together, we demonstrated that ATPγS stimulated activation of NADPH oxidase, resulting in generation of ROS, which then activated the downstream c-Src/EGFR/PI3K/Akt/ NF-κB/p300 cascade to regulate the expression of COX-2 and synthesis of PGE 2 in A549 cells. Understanding the regulation of COX-2 expression and PGE 2 release by ATPγS on A549 cells may provide potential therapeutic targets of NSCLC.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Cyclooxygenase- 2
  • Human
  • Inflammation
  • Oxidative stress
  • Signaling transductions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology
  • Physiology


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