Organ-specific distribution of AP-1 in AP-1 luciferase transgenic mice during the maturation process

Shu Ping Zhong, Wei-Ya Ma, James A. Quealy, Yiguo Zhang, Zigang Dong

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11 Scopus citations


Activator protein-1 (AP-1), a dimeric complex consisting of proteins encoded by the jun and fos gene families, is a transcription factor induced by a variety of signals including those eliciting proliferation, differentiation, and neoplastic transformation. Although AP-1 has been widely studied in the last decade, physiological levels of AP-1 in different tissues are unclear. In the present study, we analyzed AP-1 activity in several organs (liver, kidney, brain, lung, spleen, heart, skin) of AP-1-luciferase transgenic mice of various ages. Results of these studies indicate that the level of AP-1 in young mice is much higher than that in older mice, and, second, that the skin contains considerably higher levels of AP-1 than other organs. The level of phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (ERK) in skin was higher in 1- and 2-day-old mice than in mice of other ages. In addition, phosphorylated p38 kinase was high in 2-day-old and 1-wk-old mice, but phosphorylated c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase was not detected at any age. AP-1 activity and level of phosphorylated ERKs declined with maturation. These results imply that AP-1 activity mediated through an ERKs-dependent pathway may be involved in skin development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R376-R381
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number2 49-2
StatePublished - Feb 2001


  • Activator protein-1
  • Extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase
  • P38
  • Skin
  • c-Jun NH-terminal kinase

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