Annexin-1 (ANXA1) is a glucocorticoid-regulated protein that modulates the effects of bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) on macrophages. Exogenous administration of peptides derived from the N-terminus of ANXA1 reduces LPS-stimulated inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression, but the effects of altering the endogenous expression of this protein are unclear. We transfected RAW264.7 murine macrophage-like cell lines to over-express constitutively ANXA1 and investigated whether this protein modulates the induction of iNOS, cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) in response to LPS. In contrast to exogenous administration of N-terminal peptides, endogenous over-expression of ANXA1 results in up-regulation of LPS-induced iNOS protein expression and activity. However, levels of iNOS mRNA are unchanged. ANXA1 has no effect on COX-2 or TNF-α production in response to LPS. In experiments to investigate the mechanisms underlying these phenomena we observed that activation of signalling proteins classically associated with iNOS transcription was unaffected. Over-expression of ANXA1 constitutively activates extracellular signal regulated kinase (ERK)-1 and ERK-2, components of a signalling pathway not previously recognized as regulating LPS-induced iNOS expression. Inhibition of ERK activity, by the inhibitor U0126, reduced LPS-induced iNOS expression in our cell lines. Over-expression of ANXA1 also modified LPS-induced phosphorylation of the ERK-regulated translational regulation factor eukaryotic initiation factor 4E. Our data suggest that ANXA1 may modify iNOS levels by post-transcriptional mechanisms. Thus differential effects on iNOS expression in macrophages are seen when comparing acute administration of ANXA1 peptides versus the chronic endogenous over-expression of ANXA1.
- nitric oxide
- inducible nitric oxide synthase
- amino terminal sequence