Even though anthralin is a well-established topical therapeutic agent for psoriasis, little is known about its effects and biochemical mechanisms of signal transduction. In contrast to a previous report, we found that anthralin induced time- and concentration-dependent phosphorylation of epidermal growth factor receptor in primary human keratinocytes. Four lines of evidence show that this process is mediated by reactive oxygen species. First, we found that anthralin induces time-dependent generation of H2O2. Second, there is a correlation between a time-dependent increase in anthralin-induced epidermal growth factor receptor phosphorylation and H2O2 generation. Third, the structurally different antioxidants n-propyl gallate and N-acetylcysteine inhibited epidermal growth factor receptor phosphorylation induced by anthralin. Fourth, overexpression of catalase inhibited this process. The epidermal growth factor receptor-specific tyrosine kinase inhibitor PD153035 abrogated anthralin-induced epidermal growth factor receptor phosphorylation and activation of extracellular-regulated kinase 1/2. These findings establish the following sequence of events: (1) H2O2 generation, (2) epidermal growth factor receptor phosphorylation, and (3) extracellular-regulated kinase activation. Our data identify anthralin-induced reactive oxygen species and, more specifically, H2O2 as an important upstream mediator required for ligand-independent epidermal growth factor receptor phosphorylation and downstream signaling.
- Epidermal growth factor receptor
- Hydrogen peroxide
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology