Here, we show that radicicol, a fungal antibiotic, resulted in marked inhibition of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) transcription by the pancreatic beta cell line MIN6N8a in response to cytokine mixture (CM: TNF-α, IFN-γ, and IL-1 β). Treatment of MIN6N8a cells with radicicol inhibited CM-stimulated activation of NF-κ B/Rel, which plays a critical role in iNOS transcription, in a dose-related manner. Nitrite production in the presence of PD98059, a specific inhibitor of the extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase-1 and 2 (ERK1/2) pathway, was dramatically diminished, suggesting that the ERK1/2 pathway is involved in CM-induced iNOS expression. In contrast, SB203580, a specific inhibitor of p38, had no effect on nitrite generation. Collectively, this series of experiments indicates that radicicol inhibits iNOS gene expression by blocking ERK1/2 signaling. Due to the critical role that NO release plays in mediating destruction of pancreatic beta cells, the inhibitory effects of radicicol on iNOS expression suggest that radicicol may represent a useful anti-diabetic activity.
- β cells