Increased production of glyoxal (GO) and methylglyoxal (MGO) under oxidative stress is harmful to the cells. In this study, we examined the early signaling effect of GO/MGO on cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells. Both GO and MGO induced tyrosine phosphorylation and aggregation of a number of cellular proteins. Aggregation occurred mainly for cell surface proteins such as Flk-1 and VE-cadherin, but barely for the majority of intracellular proteins. Interestingly, however, GO/MGO caused both aggregation and dephosphorylation of intracellular phospho-ERK for inactivation. This phospho-ERK dephosphorylation was mediated by orthovanadate-sensitive phosphatase activity accompanying chemical recruitment of MKP-1 to the aggregated phospho-ERK. Evidence was provided that GO/MGO upregulated MKP-1 activity that in turn dephosphorylated possibly co-aggregated phospho-ERK efficiently for inactivation. These results together suggest that GO and MGO trigger a novel pathway for chemical reaction-mediated downregulation of ERK.
- Free radicals