Ceramide-dependent regulation of p42/p44 mitogen-activated protein kinase and c-Jun N-terminal-directed protein kinase in cultured airway smooth muscle cells

A M Conway, N J Pyne, S Pyne

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Previous studies have demonstrated that a number of biochemical actions of ceramide are mediated through protein kinase signalling pathways, such as p42/p44 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p42/p44 MAPK) and c-Jun N-terminal directed protein kinase (JNK). Ceramide-activated protein kinases, such as the kinase suppressor of Ras (KSR) and protein kinase Czeta (PKCzeta), are involved in the regulation of c-Raf, which promotes sequential activation of MEK-1 and p42/p44 MAPK in mammalian cells. However, in cultured airway smooth muscle (ASM) cells, neither KSR nor PKCzeta are involved in the C2-ceramide (C2-Cer)-dependent activation of this kinase cascade. Instead, we found that C2-Cer utilises a novel pathway involving tyrosine kinases, phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) and conventional PKC isoform(s). We also found that despite its ability to stimulate p42/p44 MAPK, C2-Cer inhibited platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-stimulated DNA synthesis. The possibility that growth arrest could be mediated by JNK was discounted on the basis that PDGF, as well as ceramide, stimulated JNK in these cells. Therefore, growth arrest in response to ceramide is mediated by an alternative mechanism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)737-743
Number of pages7
JournalCellular Signalling
Issue number11-12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2000


  • animals
  • cell membrane permeability
  • cell survival
  • cells, cultured
  • ceramides
  • chromones
  • enzyme activation
  • guinea pigs
  • isoenzymes
  • JNK mitogen-activated protein kinases
  • lysophospholipids
  • mitogen-activated protein kinase 1
  • mitogen-activated protein kinase 3
  • mitogen-activated protein kinases
  • morpholines
  • muscle, smooth
  • phosphatidylinositol 3-kinases
  • platelet-derived growth factor
  • precipitin tests
  • protein kinase C
  • protein tyrosine phosphatases
  • protein-serine-threonine kinases
  • protein-tyrosine kinases
  • proto-oncogene proteins c-raf
  • respiratory system
  • signal transduction
  • sphingosine
  • tyrphostins

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