Arachidonic acid induces the activation of the stress-activated protein kinase, membrane ruffling and H2O2 production via a small GTPase Rac1

FEBS Lett. 1999 Jun 11;452(3):355-9. doi: 10.1016/s0014-5793(99)00657-2.


Arachidonic acid (AA) is generated via Rac-mediated phospholipase A2 (PLA2) activation in response to growth factors and cytokines and is implicated in cell growth and gene expression. In this study, we show that AA activates the stress-activated protein kinase/c-Jun N-terminal kinase (SAPK/JNK) in a time- and dose-dependent manner. Indomethacin and nordihydroguaiaretic acid, potent inhibitors of cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase, respectively, did not exert inhibitory effects on AA-induced SAPK/JNK activation, thereby indicating that AA itself could activate SAPK/JNK. As Rac mediates SAPK/JNK activation in response to a variety of stressful stimuli, we examined whether the activation of SAPK/JNK by AA is mediated by Rac1. We observed that AA-induced SAPK/JNK activation was significantly inhibited in Rat2-Rac1N17 dominant-negative mutant cells. Furthermore, treatment of AA induced membrane ruffling and production of hydrogen peroxide, which could be prevented by Rac1N17. These results suggest that AA acts as an upstream signal molecule of Rac, whose activation leads to SAPK/JNK activation, membrane ruffling and hydrogen peroxide production.

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Arachidonic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Membrane / drug effects*
  • Cell Membrane / ultrastructure
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Fibroblasts / drug effects
  • GTP Phosphohydrolases / metabolism*
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / metabolism*
  • Indomethacin / pharmacology
  • JNK Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Masoprocol / pharmacology
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases*
  • Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • rac GTP-Binding Proteins


  • Actins
  • Arachidonic Acid
  • Masoprocol
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Protein Kinases
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases
  • JNK Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • GTP Phosphohydrolases
  • GTP-Binding Proteins
  • rac GTP-Binding Proteins
  • Indomethacin