MEK6 Regulates Human Involucrin Gene Expression via a p38α- and p38δ-dependent Mechanism

Shervin R. Dashti, Tatiana Efimova, Richard L. Eckert*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


A signaling cascade that includes protein kinase C (PKC), Ras, and MEKK1 regulates involucrin (hINV) gene expression in epidermal keratinocytes (Efimova, T., LaCelle, P., Welter, J. F., and Eckert, R. L. (1998) J. Biol. Chem. 273, 24387-24395 and Efimova, T., and Eckert, R. L. (2000) J. Biol. Chem. 275, 1601-1607). Because signal transfer downstream of MEKK1 may involve several MAPK kinases (MEKs), it is important to evaluate the regulatory role of each MEK isoform. In the present study we evaluate the role of MEK6 in transmitting this signal. Constitutively active MEK6 (caMEK6) increases hINV promoter activity and increases endogenous hINV levels. The caMEK6-dependent increase in gene expression is inhibited by the p38 MAPK inhibitor, SB203580, and is associated with a marked increase in p38α MAPK activity; JNK and ERK kinases are not activated. In addition, hINV gene expression is inhibited by dominant-negative p38α and increased when caMEK6 and p38α are co-expressed. caMEK6 also activates p38δ, but p38δ inhibits the caMEK6-dependent activation. These results suggest that MEK6 increases hINV gene expression by regulating the balance between activation of p38α, which increases gene expression, and p38δ, which decreases gene expression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27214-27220
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number29
StatePublished - Jul 20 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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