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This article has been peer reviewed. It was published in: Molecular biology of the cell.

Volume 21, Issue 23, December 2010, Pages 4264-4274.

The published version is available at DOI: 10.1091/mbc.E10-08-0705. Copyright © American Society for Cell Biology.


c-jun, which is overexpressed in a number of human cancers encodes a critical component of the AP-1 complex. c-jun has been shown to either induce or inhibit cellular apoptosis. Germ line deletion of both c-jun alleles is embryonically lethal. To determine the role of the endogenous c-jun gene in apoptosis, we performed mammary epithelial cell-targeted somatic deletion using floxed c-jun (c-jun(f/f)) conditional knockout mice. Laser capture microdissection demonstrated endogenous c-jun inhibits expression of apoptosis inducing genes and reactive oxygen species (ROS)-reducing genes (MnSOD, catalase). ROS have been implicated in apoptosis and undergo enzymatic elimination via MnSOD and CuZnSOD with further detoxification via catalase. c-jun-mediated survival was in part dependent on ROS production. c-jun-mediated repression of MnSOD and catalase occurred via mitochondrial complex I and NOX I. Collectively, these studies define a pivotal role of endogenous c-jun in promoting cell survival via maintaining mitochondrial integrity and expression of the key regulators of ROS production.

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