Suppression of ERK signaling evokes autocrine fas-mediated death in arachidonic acid-treated human chronic myeloid leukemia K562 cells

Ku Chung Chen, Wen Hsin Liu, Long Sen Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)


Arachidonic acid (AA)-induced apoptotic death of K562 cells (human chronic myeloid leukemic cells) was characteristic of reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and mitochondrial depolarization. N-Acetylcysteine pretreatment rescued viability of AA-treated cells and abolished mitochondrial depolarization. In contrast to no significant changes in phospho-JNK and phospho-ERK levels,AAevoked notable activation of p38 MAPK. Unlike that of JNK and p38 MAPK, ERK suppression further reduced the viability of AA-treated cells. Increases in Fas/FasL protein expression, caspase-8 activation, the production of tBid and the loss of mitochondrial membrane potential were noted with K562 cells that were treated with a combination of U0126 and AA. Down-regulation of FADD attenuated U0126-evoked degradation of procaspase-8 and Bid. Abolition of p38 MAPK activation abrogated U0126-elicited Fas/FasL up-regulation in AA-treated cells. U0126 pretreatment suppressed c-Fos phosphorylation but increased p38 MAPK-mediated c-Jun phosphorylation. Knock-down of c-Fos and c-Jun protein expression by siRNA suggested that c-Fos counteracted the effect of c-Jun on Fas/FasL up-regulation. Taken together, our data indicate that AA induces the ROS/mitochondria-dependent death pathway and blocks the ERK pathway which enhances the cytotoxicity of AA through additionally evoking an autocrine Fas-mediated apoptotic mechanism in K562 cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)625-634
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Physiology

Cite this