Epac activation converts cAMP from a proliferative into a differentiation signal in PC12 cells.
ABSTRACT: Elevation of the intracellular cAMP concentration ([cAMP]i) regulates metabolism, cell proliferation, and differentiation and plays roles in memory formation and neoplastic growth. cAMP mediates its effects mainly through activation of protein kinase A (PKA) as well as Epac1 and Epac2, exchange factors activating the small GTPases Rap1 and Rap2. However, how cAMP utilizes these effectors to induce distinct biological responses is unknown. We here studied the specific roles of PKA and Epac in neuroendocrine PC12 cells. In these cells, elevation of [cAMP]i activates extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) 1/2 and induces low-degree neurite outgrowth. The present study showed that specific stimulation of PKA triggered ERK1/2 activation that was considerably more transient than that observed upon simultaneous activation of both PKA and Epac. Unexpectedly, the PKA-specific cAMP analog induced cell proliferation rather than neurite outgrowth. The proliferative signaling pathway activated by the PKA-specific cAMP analog involved activation of the epidermal growth factor receptor and ERK1/2. Activation of Epac appeared to extend the duration of PKA-dependent ERK1/2 activation and converted cAMP from a proliferative into an anti-proliferative, neurite outgrowth-promoting signal. Thus, the present study showed that the outcome of cAMP signaling can depend heavily on the set of cAMP effectors activated.
Project description:Regrowth of peripheral spiral ganglion neuron (SGN) fibers is a primary objective in efforts to improve cochlear implant outcomes and to potentially reinnervate regenerated hair cells. Cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) regulates neurite growth and guidance via activation of protein kinase A (PKA) and Exchange Protein directly Activated by Cylic AMP (Epac). Here we explored the effects of cAMP signaling on SGN neurite length in vitro. We find that the cAMP analog, cpt-cAMP, exerts a biphasic effect on neurite length; increasing length at lower concentrations and reducing length at higher concentrations. This biphasic response occurs in cultures plated on laminin, fibronectin, or tenascin C suggesting that it is not substrate dependent. cpt-cAMP also reduces SGN neurite branching. The Epac-specific agonist, 8-pCPT-2'-O-Me-cAMP, does not alter SGN neurite length. Constitutively active PKA isoforms strongly inhibit SGN neurite length similar to higher levels of cAMP. Chronic membrane depolarization activates PKA in SGNs and also inhibits SGN neurite length. However, inhibition of PKA fails to rescue neurite length in depolarized cultures implying that activation of PKA is not necessary for the inhibition of SGN neurite length by chronic depolarization. Expression of constitutively active phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, but not c-Jun N-terminal kinase, isoforms partially rescues SGN neurite length in the presence of activated PKA. Taken together, these results suggest that activation of cAMP/PKA represents a potential strategy to enhance SGN fiber elongation following deafness; however such therapies will likely require careful titration so as to promote rather than inhibit nerve fiber regeneration.
Project description:To interact with the egg, the spermatozoon must undergo several biochemical and motility modifications in the female reproductive tract, collectively called capacitation. Only capacitated sperm can undergo acrosomal exocytosis, near or on the egg, a process that allows the sperm to penetrate and fertilize the egg. In the present study, we investigated the involvement of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)-dependent processes on acrosomal exocytosis. Inhibition of protein kinase A (PKA) at the end of capacitation induced acrosomal exocytosis. This process is cAMP-dependent; however, the addition of relatively high concentration of the membrane-permeable 8-bromo-cAMP (8Br-cAMP, 0.1 mmol l-1) analog induced significant inhibition of the acrosomal exocytosis. The induction of acrosomal exocytosis by PKA inhibition was significantly inhibited by an exchange protein directly activated by cAMP (EPAC) ESI09 inhibitor. The EPAC selective substrate activated AE at relatively low concentrations (0.02-0.1 μmol l-1), whereas higher concentrations (>5 μmol l-1) were inhibitory to the AE induced by PKA inhibition. Inhibition of PKA revealed about 50% increase in intracellular cAMP levels, conditions under which EPAC can be activated to induce the AE. Induction of AE by activating the actin severing-protein, gelsolin, which causes F-actin dispersion, was inhibited by the EPAC inhibitor. The AE induced by PKA inhibition was mediated by phospholipase C activity but not by the Ca2+-channel, CatSper. Thus, inhibition of PKA at the end of the capacitation process induced EPAC/phospholipase C-dependent acrosomal exocytosis. EPAC mediates F-actin depolymerization and/or activation of effectors downstream to F-actin breakdown that lead to acrosomal exocytosis.
Project description:cAMP regulates a wide range of processes through its downstream effectors including PKA, and the family of guanine nucleotide exchange factors. Depending on the cell type, cAMP inhibits or stimulates growth and proliferation in a PKA-dependent or independent manner. PKA-independent effects are mediated by PI 3-kinases-Akt signaling and EPAC1 (exchange protein directly activated by cAMP) activation. Recently, we reported PKA-independent activation of the protein kinase Akt as well co-immunoprecipitation of Epac1 with Rap1, p-Akt(Thr-308), and p-Akt(Ser-473) in forskolin-stimulated macrophages. To further probe the role of Epac1 in Akt protein kinase activation and cellular proliferation, we employed the cAMP analog 8-CPT-2-O-Me-cAMP, which selectively binds to Epac1 and triggers Epac1 signaling. We show the association of Epac1 with activated Akt kinases by co-immunoprecipitation and GST-pulldown assays. Silencing Epac1 gene expression by RNA interference significantly reduced levels of Epac1 mRNA, Epac protein, Rap1 GTP, p-ERK1/2, p-B-Raf, p110alpha catalytic subunit of PI 3-kinase, p-PDK, and p-p(70s6k). Silencing Epac1 gene expression by RNA interference also suppressed 8-CPT-2-O-Me-cAMP-upregulated protein and DNA synthesis. Concomitantly, 8-CPT-2-O-Me-cAMP-mediated upregulation of Akt(Thr-308) protein kinase activity and p-Akt(Thr-308) levels was prevented in plasma membranes and nuclei of the cells. In contrast, silencing Epac1 gene expression reduced Akt(Ser-473) kinase activity and p-Akt(Ser-473) levels in plasma membranes, but showed negligible effects on nuclear activity. In conclusion, we show that cAMP-induced Akt kinase activation and cellular proliferation is mediated by Epac1 which appears to function as an accessory protein for Akt activation.
Project description:Agonist activation of the small GTPase, RhoA, and its effector Rho kinase leads to down-regulation of smooth muscle (SM) myosin light chain phosphatase activity, an increase in myosin light chain (RLC(20)) phosphorylation and force. Cyclic nucleotides can reverse this process. We report a new mechanism of cAMP-mediated relaxation through Epac, a GTP exchange factor for the small GTPase Rap1 resulting in an increase in Rap1 activity and suppression of RhoA activity. An Epac-selective cAMP analog, 8-pCPT-2'-O-Me-cAMP ("007"), significantly reduced agonist-induced contractile force, RLC(20), and myosin light chain phosphatase phosphorylation in both intact and permeabilized vascular, gut, and airway SMs independently of PKA and PKG. The vasodilator PGI(2) analog, cicaprost, increased Rap1 activity and decreased RhoA activity in intact SMs. Forskolin, phosphodiesterase inhibitor isobutylmethylxanthine, and isoproterenol also significantly increased Rap1-GTP in rat aortic SM cells. The PKA inhibitor H89 was without effect on the 007-induced increase in Rap1-GTP. Lysophosphatidic acid-induced RhoA activity was reduced by treatment with 007 in WT but not Rap1B null fibroblasts, consistent with Epac signaling through Rap1B to down-regulate RhoA activity. Isoproterenol-induced increase in Rap1 activity was inhibited by silencing Epac1 in rat aortic SM cells. Evidence is presented that cooperative cAMP activation of PKA and Epac contribute to relaxation of SM. Our findings demonstrate a cAMP-mediated signaling mechanism whereby activation of Epac results in a PKA-independent, Rap1-dependent Ca(2+) desensitization of force in SM through down-regulation of RhoA activity. Cyclic AMP inhibition of RhoA is mediated through activation of both Epac and PKA.
Project description:bTREK-1 K(+) channels set the resting membrane potential of bovine adrenal zona fasciculata (AZF) cells and function pivotally in the physiology of cortisol secretion. Adrenocorticotropic hormone controls the function and expression of bTREK-1 channels through signaling mechanisms that may involve cAMP and downstream effectors including protein kinase A (PKA) and exchange protein 2 directly activated by cAMP (Epac2). Using patch-clamp and Northern blot analysis, we explored the regulation of bTREK-1 mRNA and K(+) current expression by cAMP analogs and several of their putative metabolites in bovine AZF cells. At concentrations sufficient to activate both PKA and Epac2, 8-bromoadenosine-cAMP enhanced the expression of both bTREK-1 mRNA and K(+) current. N(6)-Benzoyladenosine-cAMP, which activates PKA but not Epac, also enhanced the expression of bTREK-1 mRNA and K(+) current measured at times from 24 to 96 h. An Epac-selective cAMP analog, 8-(4-chlorophenylthio)-2'-O-methyl-cAMP (8CPT-2'-OMe-cAMP), potently stimulated bTREK-1 mRNA and K(+) current expression, whereas the nonhydrolyzable Epac activator 8-(4-chlorophenylthio)-2'-O-methyl-cAMP, Sp-isomer was ineffective. Metabolites of 8CPT-2'-OMe-cAMP, including 8-(4-chlorophenylthio)-2'-O-methyladenosine-5'-O-monophosphate and 8CPT-2'-OMe-adenosine, promoted the expression of bTREK-1 transcripts and ion current with a temporal pattern, potency, and effectiveness resembling that of the parent compound. Likewise, at low concentrations, 8-(4-chlorophenylthio)-cAMP (8CPT-cAMP; 30 microM) but not its nonhydrolyzable analog 8-(4-chlorophenylthio)-cAMP, Sp-isomer, enhanced the expression of bTREK-1 mRNA and current. 8CPT-cAMP metabolites, including 8CPT-adenosine and 8CPT-adenine, also increased bTREK-1 expression. These results indicate that cAMP increases the expression of bTREK-1 mRNA and K(+) current through a cAMP-dependent but Epac2-independent mechanism. They further demonstrate that one or more metabolites of 8-(4-chlorophenylthio)-cAMP analogs potently stimulate bTREK-1 expression by activation of a novel cAMP-independent mechanism. These findings raise significant questions regarding the specificity of 8-(4-chlorophenylthio)-cAMP analogs as cAMP mimetics.
Project description:In the heart, cAMP is a key regulator of excitation-contraction coupling and its biological effects are mainly associated with the activity of protein kinase A (PKA). The aim of this study was to investigate the contribution of the cAMP-binding protein Epac (Exchange protein directly activated by cAMP) in the regulation of the contractile properties of rat ventricular cardiac myocytes. We report that both PKA and Epac increased cardiac sarcomere contraction but through opposite mechanisms. Differently from PKA, selective Epac activation by the cAMP analog 8-(4-chlorophenylthio)-2'-O-methyl-cAMP (8-pCPT) reduced Ca(2+) transient amplitude and increased cell shortening in intact cardiomyocytes and myofilament Ca(2+) sensitivity in permeabilized cardiomyocytes. Moreover, ventricular myocytes, which were infected in vivo with a constitutively active form of Epac, showed enhanced myofilament Ca(2+) sensitivity compared to control cells infected with green fluorescent protein (GFP) alone. At the molecular level, Epac increased phosphorylation of 2 key sarcomeric proteins, cardiac Troponin I (cTnI) and cardiac Myosin Binding Protein-C (cMyBP-C). The effects of Epac activation on myofilament Ca(2+) sensitivity and on cTnI and cMyBP-C phosphorylation were independent of PKA and were blocked by protein kinase C (PKC) and Ca(2+) calmodulin kinase II (CaMKII) inhibitors. Altogether these findings identify Epac as a new regulator of myofilament function.
Project description:The second messenger cAMP plays a pivotal role in neurite/axon growth and guidance, but its downstream pathways leading to the regulation of Rho GTPases, centrally implicated in neuronal morphogenesis, remain elusive. We examined spatiotemporal changes in Rac1 and Cdc42 activity and phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-triphosphate (PIP(3)) concentration in dibutyryl cAMP (dbcAMP)-treated PC12D cells using Förster resonance energy transfer-based biosensors. During a 30-min incubation with dbcAMP, Rac1 activity gradually increased throughout the cells and remained at its maximal level. There was no change in PIP(3) concentration. After a 5-h incubation with dbcAMP, Rac1 and Cdc42 were activated at the protruding tips of neurites without PIP(3) accumulation. dbcAMP-induced Rac1 activation was principally mediated by protein kinase A (PKA) and Sif- and Tiam1-like exchange factor (STEF)/Tiam2. STEF depletion drastically reduced dbcAMP-induced neurite outgrowth. PKA phosphorylates STEF at three residues (Thr-749, Ser-782, Ser-1562); Thr-749 phosphorylation was critical for dbcAMP-induced Rac1 activation and neurite extension. During dbcAMP-induced neurite outgrowth, PKA activation at the plasma membrane became localized to neurite tips; this localization may contribute to local Rac1 activation at the same neurite tips. Considering the critical role of Rac1 in neuronal morphogenesis, the PKA-STEF-Rac1 pathway may play a crucial role in cytoskeletal regulation during neurite/axon outgrowth and guidance, which depend on cAMP signals.
Project description:We demonstrated that increasing intracellular cAMP concentrations result in the inhibition of migration of PANC-1 and other pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) cell types. The rise of cAMP was accompanied by rapid and reversible cessation of ruffling, by inhibition of focal adhesion turnover and by prominent loss of paxillin from focal adhesions. All these phenomena develop rapidly suggesting that cAMP effectors have a direct influence on the cellular migratory apparatus. The role of two primary cAMP effectors, exchange protein activated by cAMP (EPAC) and protein kinase A (PKA), in cAMP-mediated inhibition of PDAC cell migration and migration-associated processes was investigated. Experiments with selective activators of EPAC and PKA demonstrated that the inhibitory effect of cAMP on migration, ruffling, focal adhesion dynamics and paxillin localisation is mediated by PKA, whilst EPAC potentiates migration.
Project description:cAMP is an important second messenger that executes diverse physiological function in living cells. In this study, we investigated the effect of cAMP on canonical TRPC6 (transient receptor potential channel 6) channels in TRPC6-expressing HEK293 cells and glomerular mesangial cells. The results showed that 500 ?m 8-Br-cAMP, a cell-permeable analog of cAMP, elicited [Ca(2+)](i) increases and stimulated a cation current at the whole-cell level in TRPC6-expressing HEK293 cells. The effect of cAMP diminished in the presence of the PI3K inhibitors wortmannin and LY294002 or the MEK inhibitors PD98059, U0126, and MEK inhibitor I. 8-Br-cAMP also induced phosphorylation of MEK and ERK1/2. Conversion of serine to glycine at an ERK1/2 phosphorylation site (S281G) abolished the cAMP activation of TRPC6 as determined by whole-cell and cell-attached single-channel patch recordings. Experiments based on a panel of pharmacological inhibitors or activators suggested that the cAMP action on TRPC6 was not mediated by PKA, PKG, or EPAC (exchange protein activated by cAMP). Total internal fluorescence reflection microscopy showed that 8-Br-cAMP did not alter the trafficking of TRPC6 to the plasma membrane. We also found that, in glomerular mesangial cells, glucagon-induced [Ca(2+)](i) increases were mediated through the cAMP-PI3K-PKB-MEK-ERK1/2-TRPC6 signaling pathway. In summary, this study uncovered a novel TRPC6 activation mechanism in which cAMP activates TRPC6 via the PI3K-PKB-MEK-ERK1/2 signaling pathway.
Project description:Luteolin (3',4',5,7-tetrahydroxyflavone), a food-derived flavonoid, has been reported to exert neurotrophic properties that are associated with its capacity to promote neuronal survival and neurite outgrowth. In this study, we report for the first time that luteolin induces the persistent expression of microRNA-132 (miR-132) in PC12 cells. The correlation between miR-132 knockdown and a decrease in luteolin-mediated neurite outgrowth may indicate a mechanistic link by which miR-132 functions as a mediator for neuritogenesis. Furthermore, we find that luteolin led to the phosphorylation and activation of cAMP response element binding protein (CREB), which is associated with the up-regulation of miR-132 and neurite outgrowth. Moreover, luteolin-induced CREB activation, miR-132 expression and neurite outgrowth were inhibited by adenylate cyclase, protein kinase A (PKA) and MAPK/ERK kinase 1/2 (MEK1/2) inhibitors but not by protein kinase C (PKC) or calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMK II) inhibitors. Consistently, we find that luteolin treatment increases ERK phosphorylation and PKA activity in PC12 cells. These results show that luteolin induces the up-regulation of miR-132, which serves as an important regulator for neurotrophic actions, mainly acting through the activation of cAMP/PKA- and ERK-dependent CREB signaling pathways in PC12 cells.