Regulation of JNK signaling by GSTp

Victor Adler, Zhimin Yin, Serge Y. Fuchs, Miriam Benezra, Lilliam Rosario, Kenneth D. Tew, Matthew R. Pincus, Mohinder Sardana, Colin J. Henderson, C. Roland Wolf, Roger J. Davis, Ze'ev Ronai

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    973 Citations (Scopus)


    Studies of low basal Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) activity in non-stressed cells led us to identify a JNK inhibitor that was purified and identified as glutathione S-transferase Pi (GSTp) and was characterized as a JNK-associated protein. UV irradiation or H2O2 treatment caused GSTp oligomerization and dissociation of the GSTp-JNK complex, indicating that it is the monomeric form of GSTp that elicits JNK inhibition. Addition of purified GSTp to the Jun-JNK complex caused a dose-dependent inhibition of JNK activity. Conversely, immunodepleting GSTp from protein extracts attenuated JNK inhibition. Furthermore, JNK activity was increased in the presence of specific GSTp inhibitors and a GSTp-derived peptide. Forced expression of GSTp decreased MKK4 and JNK phosphorylation which coincided with decreased JNK activity, increased c-Jun ubiquitination and decreased c-Jun-mediated transcription. Co-transfection of MEKK1 and GSTp restored MKK4 phosphorylation but did not affect GSTp inhibition of JNK activity, suggesting that the effect of GSTp on JNK is independent of the MEKK1-MKK4 module. Mouse embryo fibroblasts from GSTp-null mice exhibited a high basal level of JNK activity that could be reduced by forced expression of GSTp cDNA, In demonstrating the relationships between GSTp expression and its association with JNK, our findings provide new insight into the regulation of stress kinases.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1321-1334
    Number of pages14
    JournalEMBO Journal
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 1999


    • GSTp
    • JNK
    • Signaling
    • Stress kinase


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