Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI 3-kinase) has been shown previously to be a central enzyme in crystal-induced neutrophil activation. Since activation of the 70 kDa S6 kinase (p70S6K) has been shown to be dependent on PI 3-kinase activation in mammalian cells, and since the former is a key enzyme in the transmission of signals to the cell nucleus, activation of p70S6K was investigated in crystal-stimulated neutrophils. Cytosolic fractions from calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate (CPPD)-crystal-activated neutrophils were separated by Mono Q chromatography and analysed for phosphotransferase activity using a range of substrates and probed by Western analysis using antibodies to p70S6K and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAP kinase). CPPD crystals induced a robust, transient activation (peak activity at 2 min) of p70S6K that was fully inhibited by pretreatment with rapamycin. This is the first report of the activation of p70S6K in neutrophil signal transduction pathways induced by an agonist. This crystal-induced activation of p70S6K could also be inhibited by a protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor (Compound 3), but not by the PI 3-kinase inhibitor wortmannin. CPPD crystals also activated the ERK1 and ERK2 forms of MAP kinase (wortmannin insensitive), PKC (Compound 3 sensitive) and protein kinase B (wortmannin sensitive) in neutrophils. These data suggest that activation of p70S6K may proceed through a PI 3-kinase- and protein kinase B-independent but PKC-dependent pathway in crystal-activated neutrophils.

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Author notes

1

Present address: Biochem Theraputic, Laval, Quebec, Canada H7V 4A7.