Stress-responsive JNK mitogen-activated protein kinase mediates aspirin-induced suppression of B16 melanoma cellular proliferation

Br J Pharmacol. 2003 Mar;138(6):1156-62. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjp.0705163.


1. Available anticancer drugs do not seem to modify the prognosis of metastatic melanoma. Salicylate and acetyl salicylic acid (aspirin) were found to suppress growth in a number of transformed cells, that is, prostate and colon. Therefore, we studied the direct effects of aspirin on metastatic B16 melanoma cells. 2. Aspirin at a plasma-attainable and nontoxic level suppressed the proliferation of B16 cells. 3. Aspirin induced the activation of p38 and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) mitogen-activated protein kinases. 4. Inhibition of JNK, but not p38, decreased the suppressive effect of aspirin upon the proliferation of B16 cells. 5. The aspirin-induced reduction in B16 proliferation was cumulative over time. 6. Aspirin and the chemotherapeutic drug 1,3-bis(2-chloroethyl)-1-nitrosourea (BCNU) induced B16 cell death synergistically. 7. In addition to the murine B16 cell line, the proliferation of SK-28 human melanoma cells was also suppressed by aspirin. 8 In conclusion, aspirin suppresses the proliferation of metastatic B16 cells in a JNK-dependent mechanism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / metabolism
  • Aspirin / pharmacology*
  • Cell Death / drug effects
  • Drug Synergism
  • Genes, jun / drug effects
  • Genes, jun / genetics
  • Humans
  • JNK Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases*
  • MAP Kinase Kinase 4
  • Melanoma, Experimental / pathology*
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Kinases / metabolism*
  • Organophosphates / metabolism
  • Suppression, Genetic / drug effects
  • Suppression, Genetic / genetics
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • Organophosphates
  • JNK Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • MAP Kinase Kinase 4
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Kinases
  • Aspirin