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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 3 (2010), Issue 5, Pages 317-324

LKB1/PEA3/ΔNp63 Pathway Regulates PTGS-2 (COX-2) Transcription in Lung Cancer Cells Upon Cigarette Smoke Exposure

Department of Dermatology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA

Received 6 July 2010; Revised 20 July 2010; Accepted 21 July 2010

Copyright © 2010 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This is the first study to show that cigarette smoking induced the LKB1/PEA 3/ΔNp63-dependent transcriptional regulation of inflammatory molecules, such as COX-2/PTGS-2. Using mainstream smoke extract (MSE) and sidestream smoke extract (SSE) as modeling tools for primary and secondhand smoking, we found that both MSE and SSE downregulated protein levels for LKB1, while upregulated protein levels for PEA 3 and COX-2 in a dose-dependent manner. Using the endogenous ChIP analysis, we further found that the C/EBPβ, NFκB, NF-Y (CHOP), PEA 3 (ETS) and ΔNp63 proteins bound to the specific area (-550 to -130) of the COX-2 promoter, while forming multiple protein complexes in lung cancer cells exposed to MSE and SSE. Our results define a novel link between various transcription factors occupying the COX-2 promoter and cellular response to cigarette smoke exposure bringing a new component, ΔNp63α, showing a critical role for cooperation between various chromatin components in regulation of COX-2 expression and, therefore strengthening the central role of inflammatory process in tumorigenesis of epithelial cells, especially after cigarette smoke exposure (both primary and secondhand).