Induction and nuclear accumulation of Fos and Jun proto-oncogenes in hypoxic cardiac myocytes

K. A. Webster, D. J. Discher, N. H. Bishopric

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197 Scopus citations


Hypoxic and ischemic stresses cause a series of well documented changes in myocardial cells and tissues, including increased anaerobic glycolysis, loss of contractility, changes in lipid and fatty acid metabolism, and eventual irreversible membrane damage and cell death. In this article we describe changes in the expression and regulation of the proto-oncogenes fos and jun in cardiac myocytes exposed to severe hypoxia. The mRNAs encoding c-Fos, c-Jun, Jun-D, and Jun-B were induced within 1 h of exposure to hypoxia, increased 5-10-fold between 1 and 4 h and then declined. These inductions coincided with loss in myocyte contractility but occurred before there was irreversible cell damage or significant ATP loss. Immunostaining with anti-Fos and anti-Jun antibodies revealed the accumulation of these proteins in hypoxic cell nuclei. Pre-treatment of cells with protein kinase inhibitors significantly repressed the response at the mRNA level. We propose that hypoxic stress in these cells activates signal transduction pathways, possibly involving protein kinases, that result in the inductions of fos and jun gene families. Therefore AP1 may regulate myocardial adaptive responses to hypoxia in advance of energy depletion, cell damage, or reoxygenation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16852-16858
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number22
StatePublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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