The goal of this study was to explore the signaling pathway regulating the processing of proADAM17 into ADAM17 in Taiwan cobra phospholipase A2 (PLA2)-treated human leukemia U937 cells. PLA2 induced reactive oxygen species (ROS)-elicited p38 MAPK activation and ERK inactivation in U937 cells. Catalytically inactive bromophenacylated PLA2 (BPB-PLA2) and PLA2 mutants evoked Ca2+- mediated p38 MAPK activation, and the level of phosphorylated ERK remained unchanged. PLA2 treatment reduced mature ADAM17 expression and secreted TNF-α (sTNF-α) production. Co-treatment of SB202190 (p38 MAPK inhibitor) and catalytically inactive PLA2 increased ERK phosphorylation, ADAM17 maturation and sTNF-α production. Nevertheless, mRNA levels of ADAM17 and TNF-α were insignificantly altered after PLA2 and SB202190/BPB-PLA2 treatment. ADAM17 activity assay and knock-down of ADAM17 revealed that ADAM17 was involved in sTNF-α production. Restoration of ERK activation increased the processing of proADAM17 into ADAM17 in PLA2-treated cells, while inactivation of ERK reduced ADAM17 maturation in untreated and SB202190/BPB-PLA2-treated cells. Removal of cell surface heparan sulfate abrogated PLA2 and SB202190/BPB-PLA2 effect on ADAM17 maturation. Taken together, the present data reveal that PLA2 suppresses ERK-mediated ADAM17 maturation, thus reducing sTNF-α production in U937 cells. Moreover, the binding with heparan sulfate is crucial for the PLA2 effect.
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