Heme oxygenase-1 gene activation by the NAD(P)H oxidase inhibitor 4-(2-aminoethyl) benzenesulfonyl fluoride via a protein kinase B, p38-dependent signaling pathway in monocytes

J Biol Chem. 2005 Jun 10;280(23):21820-9. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M502943200. Epub 2005 Apr 15.


Heme oxygenase (HO)-1 is the inducible isoform of the rate-limiting enzyme of heme degradation and modulates the inflammatory immune response. Because HO-1 is up-regulated by NAD(P)H oxidase activators such as lipopolysaccharide and 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate in monocytic cells, we investigated the gene regulation of HO-1 by the chemical NAD(P)H oxidase inhibitor 4-(2-aminoethyl) benzenesulfonyl fluoride (AEBSF). Unexpectedly, AEBSF induced endogenous gene expression and promoter activity of HO-1 in cell cultures of human and mouse monocytes. Inhibition of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/protein kinase B (PKB) pathway by pharmacological inhibitors and cotransfection of an expression vector for a dominant negative mutant of PKB reduced the AEBSF-dependent induction of HO-1 gene transcription. Accordingly, overexpressed constitutively active PKB markedly up-regulated HO-1 promoter activity. AEBSF activated the mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) JNK and p38. Inhibition of p38alpha and p38beta, but not that of JNK or p38gamma and p38delta, prevented the induction of HO-1 gene expression by AEBSF. p38 was stimulated by AEBSF in a PKB-dependent manner as demonstrated by a luciferase assay with a Gal4-CHOP fusion protein. Finally, AEBSF- and PKB-dependent induction of HO-1 promoter activity was reduced by simultaneous mutation of an E-box motif (-47/-42) and a cAMP response element/AP-1 element (-664/-657) of the proximal HO-1 gene promoter. Overexpression of the basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor USF2 and coactivator p300 enhanced the AEBSF-dependent response of the HO-1 promoter. The data suggest that the transcriptional induction of HO-1 gene expression by AEBSF is mediated via activation of a PKB, p38 MAPK signaling pathway.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Motifs
  • Animals
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Line
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic*
  • Genes, Dominant
  • Heme Oxygenase (Decyclizing) / biosynthesis*
  • Heme Oxygenase (Decyclizing) / genetics*
  • Heme Oxygenase-1
  • Humans
  • Immune System
  • Inflammation
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / metabolism
  • Luciferases / metabolism
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Mice
  • Models, Biological
  • Mutation
  • NADPH Oxidases / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Plasmids / metabolism
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / metabolism
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt
  • Rats
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / metabolism
  • Serine Proteinase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Signal Transduction
  • Sulfones / pharmacology
  • Time Factors
  • Transcription Factor AP-1 / metabolism
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Transcriptional Activation
  • Transfection
  • Up-Regulation
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism


  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Serine Proteinase Inhibitors
  • Sulfones
  • Transcription Factor AP-1
  • 4-(2-aminoethyl)benzenesulfonylfluoride
  • Luciferases
  • HMOX1 protein, human
  • Heme Oxygenase (Decyclizing)
  • Heme Oxygenase-1
  • Hmox1 protein, mouse
  • NADPH Oxidases
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases