We demonstrated previously that 3-(5′-hydroxymethyl-2′-furyl)- 1-benzylindazole (YC-1), an activator of soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC), induces cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression via cGMP- and p44/42 mitogen-activated protein kinase-dependent pathways in human pulmonary epithelial A549 cells. In this study, we explore the role of Ras, phosphoinositide-3-OH-kinase (PI3K), Akt, and transcription factor nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) in YC-1-induced COX-2 expression in A549 cells. A Ras inhibitor (manumycin A), a PI3K inhibitor (wortmannin), an Akt inhibitor (1L-6-Hydroxymethyl-chiro-inositol2-[(R)-2-O-methyl-3-O-octadecylcarbonate]), and an NF-κB inhibitor [pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate (PDTC)] all reduced YC-1-induced COX-2 expression. The YC-1-induced increase in COX activity was also blocked by manumycin A, wortmannin, PDTC, and the dominant-negative mutants for Ras (RasN17), Akt (Akt DN), and IκBα (IκBαM). The YC-1-induced increase in Ras activity was inhibited by an sGC inhibitor [1H-(1,2,4)oxadiazolo[4,3-a]quinozalin-1-one (ODQ)], a protein kinase G (PKG) inhibitor [1-oxo-9.12-epoxy-1H-diindolo[1,2,3-fg:3′,2′,1′-kl] pyrrolo[3,4-l][1,6]benzodiazocine-10-carboxylic acid methyl ester (KT-5823)], and manumycin A. YC-1-induced Akt activation was also inhibited by ODQ, KT-5823, manumycin A, and wortmannin. YC-1 caused the formation of an NF-κB-specific DNA-protein complex and an increase in κB-luciferase activity. YC-1-induced κB-luciferase activity was inhibited by ODQ, KT-5823, manumycin A, wortmannin, an Akt inhibitor, PDTC, RasN17, Akt DN, and IκBαM. Likewise, YC-1-induced IKKα/β activation was inhibited by ODQ, KT-5823, manumycin A, wortmannin, and an Akt inhibitor. Furthermore, YC-1-induced COX-2 promoter activity was inhibited by manumycin A, RasN17, Akt DN, PDTC, and IκBαM. Taken together, these results indicate that YC-1 might activate the sGC/cGMP/PKG pathway to induce Ras and PI3K/Akt activation, which in turn initiates IKKα/β and NF-κB activation and finally induces COX-2 expression in A549 cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)561-571
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Pharmacology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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