Mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway mediates peroxynitrite-induced apoptosis in human dopaminergic neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1999 Sep 24;263(2):504-9. doi: 10.1006/bbrc.1999.1237.


Peroxynitrite, a product of nitric oxide and superoxide, is one of the most potent oxidants and it has been suggested to be involved in many neurodegenerative disorders. The mechanism of the cytotoxicity by peroxynitrite was examined using 3-morpholinosydonimine (SIN-1) as a peroxynitrite donor and SH-SY5Y cells as a model of dopamine neurons. SIN-1 was found to induce apoptotic cell death with typical nucleosomal DNA fragmentation with activation of caspase 3-like proteases. The signal transduction of apoptosis was studied in concern to mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs). After SIN-1 treatment, phosphorylation of p38 was detected, followed by that of Erk. SB202190, an inhibitor of p38, suppressed Erk phosphorylation to the basal level and partially reduced the activation of caspase 3-like proteases and also the cell death. These results suggest that peroxynitrite may activate p38 MAPK pathway to induce apoptosis in dopamine cells via activation of caspase 3-like proteases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Apoptosis*
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Caspase 3
  • Caspase Inhibitors
  • Caspases / metabolism
  • DNA Fragmentation
  • Dopamine*
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Imidazoles / pharmacology
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases*
  • Molsidomine / analogs & derivatives
  • Molsidomine / metabolism
  • Molsidomine / pharmacology
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / etiology
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Nitrates / pharmacology*
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism
  • Pyridines / pharmacology
  • Signal Transduction
  • Superoxides / metabolism
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases


  • Antioxidants
  • Caspase Inhibitors
  • Flavonoids
  • Imidazoles
  • Nitrates
  • Pyridines
  • Superoxides
  • peroxynitric acid
  • Nitric Oxide
  • linsidomine
  • Molsidomine
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • CASP3 protein, human
  • Caspase 3
  • Caspases
  • 4-(4-fluorophenyl)-2-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-5-(4-pyridyl)imidazole
  • 2-(2-amino-3-methoxyphenyl)-4H-1-benzopyran-4-one
  • Dopamine