Crosstalk between PKA and Epac regulates the phenotypic maturation and function of human dendritic cells.
ABSTRACT: The cAMP-dependent signaling pathways that orchestrate dendritic cell (DC) maturation remain to be defined in detail. Although cAMP was previously thought to signal exclusively through protein kinase A (PKA), it is now clear that cAMP also activates exchange protein activated by cAMP (Epac), a second major cAMP effector. Whether cAMP signaling via PKA is sufficient to drive DC maturation or whether Epac plays a role has not been examined. In this study, we used cAMP analogs to selectively activate PKA or Epac in human monocyte-derived DCs and examined the effect of these signaling pathways on several hallmarks of DC maturation. We show that PKA activation induces DC maturation as evidenced by the increased cell-surface expression of MHC class II, costimulatory molecules, and the maturation marker CD83. PKA activation also reduces DC endocytosis and stimulates chemotaxis to the lymph node-associated chemokines CXCL12 and CCL21. Although PKA signaling largely suppresses cytokine production, the net effect of PKA activation translates to enhanced DC activation of allogeneic T cells. In contrast to the stimulatory effects of PKA, Epac signaling has no effect on DC maturation or function. Rather, Epac suppresses the effects of PKA when both pathways are activated simultaneously. These data reveal a previously unrecognized crosstalk between the PKA and Epac signaling pathways in DCs and raise the possibility that therapeutics targeting PKA may generate immunogenic DCs, whereas those that activate Epac may produce tolerogenic DCs capable of attenuating allergic or autoimmune disease.
Project description:We identify a compartmentalized signaling system that identifies a functional role for the GTP exchange factor, exchange protein activated by cAMP (EPAC) coupled to Rap2 in the nucleus. In this system, cAMP regulates the nuclear/cytoplasmic trafficking of DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK), a critical kinase that acts to repair double-stranded breaks (DSBs) in damaged DNA and to phosphorylate the cell survival kinase, PKB/Akt. Intersecting regulatory inputs for cAMP employ EPAC to transduce positive effects, namely the Rap2-dependent nuclear exit and activation of DNA-PK, whereas protein kinase A (PKA) provides the negative input by antagonizing these actions. We identify this as a compartmentalized regulatory system where modulation of cAMP input into the stimulatory, EPAC and inhibitory, PKA intersecting arms is provided by spatially discrete, cAMP degradation systems. The distribution of DNA-PK between nuclear and cytoplasmic compartments can thus potentially be influenced by relative inputs of cAMP signaling through the EPAC and PKA pathways. Through this signaling system EPAC activation can thereby impact on the Ser-473 phosphorylation status of PKB/Akt and the repair of etoposide-induced DSBs.
Project description:The Na(+)/H(+) exchanger 3 (NHE3) is expressed in the brush border membrane (BBM) of proximal tubules (PT). Its activity is down-regulated on increases in intracellular cAMP levels. The aim of this study was to investigate the contribution of the protein kinase A (PKA) and the exchange protein directly activated by cAMP (EPAC) dependent pathways in the regulation of NHE3 by adenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (cAMP). Opossum kidney cells and murine kidney slices were treated with cAMP analogs, which selectively activate either PKA or EPAC. Activation of either pathway resulted in an inhibition of NHE3 activity. The EPAC-induced effect was independent of PKA as indicated by the lack of activation of the kinase and the insensitivity to the PKA inhibitor H89. Both PKA and EPAC inhibited NHE3 activity without inducing changes in the expression of the transporter in BBM. Activation of PKA, but not of EPAC, led to an increase of NHE3 phosphorylation. In contrast, activation of PKA, but not of EPAC, inhibited renal type IIa Na(+)-coupled inorganic phosphate cotransporter (NaPi-IIa), another Na-dependent transporter expressed in proximal BBM. PKA, but not EPAC, induced the retrieval of NaPi-IIa from BBM. Our results suggest that EPAC activation may represent a previously unrecognized mechanism involved in the cAMP regulation of NHE3, whereas regulation of NaPi-IIa is mediated by PKA but not by EPAC.
Project description:Myocardial cAMP elevation confers cardioprotection against ischaemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury. cAMP activates two independent signalling pathways, PKA and Epac. This study investigated the cardiac effects of activating PKA and/or Epac and their involvement in cardioprotection against I/R.Hearts from male rats were used either for determination of PKA and PKC activation or perfused in the Langendorff mode for either cardiomyocyte isolation or used to monitor functional activity at basal levels and after 30 min global ischaemia and 2 h reperfusion. Functional recovery and myocardial injury during reperfusion (LDH release and infarct size) were evaluated. Activation of PKA and/or Epac in perfused hearts was induced using cell permeable cAMP analogues in the presence or absence of inhibitors of PKA, Epac and PKC. H9C2 cells and cardiomyocytes were used to assess activation of Epac and effect on Ca2+ transients.Selective activation of either PKA or Epac was found to trigger a positive inotropic effect, which was considerably enhanced when both pathways were simultaneously activated. Only combined activation of PKA and Epac induced marked cardioprotection against I/R injury. This was accompanied by PKC? activation and repressed by inhibitors of PKA, Epac or PKC.Simultaneous activation of both PKA and Epac induces an additive inotropic effect and confers optimal and marked cardioprotection against I/R injury. The latter effect is mediated by PKC? activation. This work has introduced a new therapeutic approach and targets to protect the heart against cardiac insults.
Project description: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:cAMP acts as a second messenger in many cellular processes. Three protein types mainly mediate cAMP-induced effects: PKA, exchange protein directly activated by cAMP (Epac), and cyclic nucleotide-modulated channels (cyclic nucleotide-gated or hyperpolarization-activated and cyclic nucleotide-modulated (HCN) channels). Discrimination among these cAMP signaling pathways requires specific targeting of only one protein. Previously, cAMP modifications at position N 6 of the adenine ring (PKA) and position 2'-OH of the ribose (Epac) have been used to produce target-selective compounds. However, cyclic nucleotide-modulated ion channels were usually outside of the scope of these previous studies. These channels are widely distributed, so possible channel cross-activation by PKA- or Epac-selective agonists warrants serious consideration. Here we demonstrate the agonistic effects of three PKA-selective cAMP derivatives, N 6-phenyladenosine-3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (N 6-Phe-cAMP), N 6-benzyladenosine-3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (N 6-Bn-cAMP), and N 6-benzoyl-adenosine-3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (N 6-Bnz-cAMP), on murine HCN2 pacemaker channels. Electrophysiological characterization in Xenopus oocytes revealed that these derivatives differ in apparent affinities depending on the modification type but that their efficacy and effects on HCN2 activation kinetics are similar to those of cAMP. Docking experiments suggested a pivotal role of Arg-635 at the entrance of the binding pocket in HCN2, either causing stabilizing cation-? interactions with the aromatic ring in N 6-Phe-cAMP or N 6-Bn-cAMP or a steric clash with the aromatic ring in N 6-Bnz-cAMP. A reduced apparent affinity of N 6-Phe-cAMP toward the variants R635A and R635E strengthened that notion. We conclude that some PKA activators also effectively activate HCN2 channels. Hence, when studying PKA-mediated cAMP signaling with cAMP derivatives in a native environment, activation of HCN channels should be considered.
Project description:Adenosine is a potent endogenous anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive metabolite that is a potent modulator of tissue repair. However, the adenosine A2A receptor (A2AR)-mediated promotion of collagen synthesis is detrimental in settings such as scarring and scleroderma. The signaling cascade from A2AR stimulation to increased collagen production is complex and obscure, not least because cAMP and its downstream molecules PKA and Epac1 have been reported to inhibit collagen production. We therefore examined A2AR-stimulated signaling for collagen production by normal human dermal fibroblasts (NHDF). Collagen1 (Col1) and collagen3 (Col3) content after A2AR activation by CGS21680 was studied by western blotting. Contribution of PKA and Epac was analyzed by the PKA inhibitor PKI and by knockdowns of the PKA-C?, -C?, -C?, Epac1, and Epac2. CGS21680 stimulates Col1 expression at significantly lower concentrations than those required to stimulate Col3 expression. A2AR stimulates Col1 expression by a PKA-dependent mechanism since PKA inhibition or PKA-C? and -C? knockdown prevents A2AR-mediated Col1 increase. In contrast, A2AR represses Col3 via PKA but stimulates both Col1 and Col3 via an Epac2-dependent mechanism. A2AR stimulation with CGS21680 at 0.1 ?M increased Col3 expression only upon PKA blockade. A2AR activation downstream signaling for Col1 and Col3 expression proceeds via two distinct pathways with varying sensitivity to cAMP activation; more highly cAMP-sensitive PKA activation stimulates Col1 expression, and less cAMP-sensitive Epac activation promotes both Col1 and Col3 expression. These observations may explain the dramatic change in Col1:Col3 ratio in hypertrophic and immature scars, where adenosine is present in higher concentrations than in normal skin.
Project description:The epsilon isoform of protein kinase C (PKCepsilon) has emerged as a critical second messenger in sensitization toward mechanical stimulation in models of neuropathic (diabetes, alcoholism, and cancer therapy) as well as acute and chronic inflammatory pain. Signaling pathways leading to activation of PKCepsilon remain unknown. Recent results indicate signaling from cAMP to PKC. A mechanism connecting cAMP and PKC, two ubiquitous, commonly considered separate pathways, remains elusive. We found that, in cultured DRG neurons, signaling from cAMP to PKCepsilon is not mediated by PKA but by the recently identified cAMP-activated guanine exchange factor Epac. Epac, in turn, was upstream of phospholipase C (PLC) and PLD, both of which were necessary for translocation and activation of PKCepsilon. This signaling pathway was specific to isolectin B4-positive [IB4(+)] nociceptors. Also, in a behavioral model, cAMP produced mechanical hyperalgesia (tenderness) through Epac, PLC/PLD, and PKCepsilon. By delineating this signaling pathway, we provide a mechanism for cAMP-to-PKC signaling, give proof of principle that the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway-activating protein Epac also stimulates PKC, describe the first physiological function unique for the IB4(+) subpopulation of sensory neurons, and find proof of principle that G-protein-coupled receptors can activate PKC not only through the G-proteins alpha(q) and betagamma but also through alpha(s).
Project description:Exchange proteins directly activated by cAMP (Epac) make up a family of cAMP binding domain-containing proteins that play important roles in mediating the effects of cAMP through the activation of downstream small GTPases, Ras-proximate proteins. To delineate the mechanism of Epac activation, we probed the conformation and structural dynamics of Epac using amide hydrogen-deuterium (H-D) exchange coupled with Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) and structural modeling. Our studies show that unlike that of cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA), the classic intracellular cAMP receptor, binding of cAMP to Epac does not induce significant changes in overall secondary structure and structural dynamics, as measured by FT-IR and the rate of H-D exchange, respectively. These results suggest that Epac activation does not involve significant changes in the amount of exposed surface areas as in the case of PKA activation, and conformational changes induced by cAMP in Epac are most likely confined to small local regions. Homology modeling and comparative structural analyses of the CBDs of Epac and PKA lead us to propose a model of Epac activation. On the basis of our model, Epac activation by cAMP employs the same underlying structural principal utilized by PKA, although the detailed structural and conformational changes associated with Epac and PKA activation are significantly different. In addition, we predict that during Epac activation the first beta-strand of the switchboard switches its conformation to a alpha-helix, which folds back to the beta-barrel core of the CBD and interacts directly with cAMP to form the base of the cAMP-binding pocket.
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:Initiation of adipocyte differentiation is promoted by the synergistic action of insulin/insulin-like growth factor, glucocorticoids, and agents activating cAMP-dependent signaling. The action of cAMP is mediated via PKA and Epac, where at least part of the PKA function relates to strong repression of Rho kinase activity, whereas Epac counteracts the reduction in insulin/insulin-like growth factor signaling associated with complete repression of Rho kinase activity. However, detailed knowledge of the Epac-dependent branch and the interplay with PKA is still limited. In the present study, we present a comprehensive evaluation of Epac-mediated processes and their interplay with PKA during the initiation of 3T3-L1 preadipocyte differentiation using a combination of proteomics, molecular approaches and bioinformatics. Proteomic analyses revealed 7 proteins specifically regulated in response to Epac activation, 4 in response to PKA activation, and 11 in response to the combined activation by Epac and PKA during the initial phase of differentiation. Network analyses indicated that the identified proteins are involved in pathways of importance for glucose metabolism, inositol metabolism and calcium-dependent signaling thereby adding a novel facet to our understanding of cAMP-mediated potentiation of adipocyte differentiation.