Advanced glycation end product (AGE) activation of the signal-transducing receptor for AGE (RAGE) has been linked to a proinflammatory phenotypic change within cells. However, the precise intracellular signaling pathways involved have not been elucidated. We demonstrate here that human serum albumin modified with Nε-(carboxymethyl)lysine (CML), a major AGE adduct that progressively accumulates with aging, diabetes, and renal failure, induced nuclear factor (NF)-κB-driven reporter gene expression in human monocytic THP-1 cells. The NF-κB response was blocked with a synthetic peptide corresponding to the putative ligand-binding domain of RAGE, with anti-RAGE antiserum, and by coexpression of truncated receptors lacking the intracellular domain. Signal transduction from RAGE to NF-κB involved the generation of reactive oxygen species, since reporter gene expression was blocked with the antioxidant N-acetyl-L-cysteine. CML-modified albumin produced rapid transient activation of tyrosine phosphorylation, extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1 and 2, and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), but not c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase. RAGE-mediated NF-κB activation was suppressed by the selective p38 MAPK inhibitor SB203580 and by coexpression of a kinase-dead p38 dominant-negative mutant. Activation of NF-κB by CML-modified albumin increased secretion of proinflammatory cytokines (tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-1β, and monocyte chemoattractant protein- 1) severalfold, and inhibition of p38 MAPK blocked these increases. These results indicate that p38 MAPK activation mediates RAGE-induced NF-κB-dependent secretion of proinflammatory cytokines and suggest that accelerated inflammation may be a consequence of cellular activation induced by this receptor.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism