Shiga toxin 1-induced activation of c-Jun NH(2)-terminal kinase and p38 in the human monocytic cell line THP-1: possible involvement in the production of TNF-alpha. Academic Article uri icon


  • Shiga toxin-producing enterohemorrhagic E. coli infections cause bloody diarrhea, which may progress to life-threatening complications such as the hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS). HUS patients frequently have elevated levels of the proinflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) detectable in urine. Thus, sequelae may develop following the localized production of proinflammatory cytokines within the kidneys. A possible source of these cytokines are macrophages, which respond to the toxins by producing TNF-alpha. We have shown previously that THP-1 cells produce soluble TNF-alpha in response to the toxins, whose production requires host-cell tyrosine-kinase activity and toxin-enzymatic activity. To further examine signaling pathways involved in TNF-alpha expression, we determined that JNK1 and -2 and p38, but not ERK1 or -2, were phosphorylated following toxin exposure. Blockade of p38 activation reduced TNF-alpha production following Shiga toxin 1 treatment. Finally, we present a model of the ribotoxic stress response triggered in human macrophages by Shiga toxins.

published proceedings

  • J Leukoc Biol

author list (cited authors)

  • Foster, G. H., & Tesh, V. L.

citation count

  • 70

publication date

  • January 2002