The stressactivated protein kinase p38/SAPK2 is known to regulate the activity of transcription factors and to control expression of several genes at the transcriptional or posttranscriptional level. In order to identify genes whose expression is under the control of p38/SAPK2 activity, we have compared the mRNA levels of a pattern of 588 genes between human Jurkat T cells with anisomycinactivated p38/SAPK2 and cells in which p38/SAPK2 was inhibited by the compound SB203580. Genes strongly expressed at the transcript level as a result of p38/SAPK2 activation are the transcription factors cjun, fosrelated antigen 1 (fra-1), the growtharrest and DNAdamage gene gadd153 and earlygrowthrelated gene 1 (egr-1) as well as the csrk kinase csk and the nucleotide exchange factor rasGRF. mRNAs significantly downregulated include the insulin receptor IR, the adapter grb2, the transcription factor cmyc and the defender against apoptotic death, dad-1. For six selected genes, p38/SAPK2-regulated expression was confirmed and further analysed by Northern blot experiments, demonstrating a complex regulation of these genes under stress conditions.
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