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.
Katiyar, Sanjay; Casimiro, Mathew C; Dettin, Luis; Ju, Xiaoming; Wagner, Erwin F; Tanaka, Hirokazu; and Pestell, Richard, "C-jun inhibits mammary apoptosis in vivo." (2010). Department of Cancer Biology Faculty Papers. Paper 38.