STAT3 attenuates EGFR-mediated ERK activation and cell survival during oxidant stress in mouse proximal tubular cells

I. Arany, J. K. Megyesi, B. D. Nelkin, R. L. Safirstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We have shown that renal epithelial cell survival depends on the sustained activation of the extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (ERK) and lack of this activation was associated with death during oxidative stress. ERK is activated via the canonical epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-Ras-MEK pathway, which could be attenuated by oxidants. We now show that the failure to activate ERK in a sustained manner during severe oxidative stress is owing to the activation of the signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 (STAT3) rather than the failure to activate the EGFR. Tyrosine phosphorylation of the EGFR and STAT3 was studied in hydrogen peroxide (H2O 2)-treated mouse proximal tubule (TKPTS) cells or in mouse kidney after ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury by Western blotting. STAT3 activation was inhibited by either pharmacologically (AG490) through its upstream janus kinase (JAK2) or by a dominant-negative STAT3 adenovirus. EGFR was inhibited by AG1478. Survival was determined by fluorescence-activated cell sorter analysis and trypan blue exclusion. We found that the EGFR was phosphorylated on its major autophosphorylation site (Tyr1173) regardless of the H2O 2 dose. On the other hand, both I/R and severe oxidative stress - but not moderate stress - increased tyrosine phosphorylation of STAT3 in an EGFR and JAK2-dependent manner. Inhibition of JAK2 or STAT3 lead to increased ERK activation and survival of TKPTS cells during severe oxidative stress. Our data suggest a role of tyrosine-phosphorylated STAT3 in the suppression of ERK activation. These data suggest that the STAT3 pathway might represent a new target for improved survival of proximal tubule cells exposed to severe oxidant injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)669-674
Number of pages6
JournalKidney international
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 28 2006


  • Acute renal failure
  • Cell death
  • Cell survival
  • Cisplatin
  • Oxidative stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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