Optimality conditions for cell-fate heterogeneity that maximize the effects of growth factors in PC12 cells.
ABSTRACT: Recently, the heterogeneity that arises from stochastic fate decisions has been reported for several types of cancer-derived cell lines and several types of clonal cells grown under constant environmental conditions. However, the relation between this stochasticity and the responsiveness to extracellular stimuli remains largely unknown. Here we focused on the fate decisions of the PC12 cell line, which was derived from rat pheochromocytoma, and is a model system to study differentiation into sympathetic neurons. Whereas epidermal growth factor (EGF) stimulates the proliferation of populations of PC12 cells, nerve growth factor (NGF) promotes the differentiation of neurites to neuron-like cells. We found that phenotypic heterogeneity increased with time at several surrounding serum concentrations, suggesting stochastic cell-fate decisions in single cells. We made a simple mathematical model assuming Markovian transitions of the cell fates, and estimated the transition rates based on Bayes' theorem. The model suggests that depending on the serum concentration, EGF (NGF) even directs differentiation (proliferation) at the single-cell level. The maximum effects of the growth factors were ensured when the transition rates were appropriately controlled by the serum concentration to produce a nonextremal, moderate amount of cell-fate heterogeneity. Our model was validated by the experimental finding that the means and variances of the local cell densities obey a power-law relationship. These results suggest that even when efficient responses to growth factors are observed at the population level, the growth factors stochastically direct the cell-fate decisions in different directions at the single-cell level.
Project description:We compared the role of tyrosine kinases in alpha(1A)-adrenergic receptor (AR) and growth factor receptor stimulation of mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways in PC12 cells. Norepinephrine (NE) (noradrenaline), epidermal growth factor (EGF) and nerve growth factor (NGF) caused different patterns of tyrosine phosphorylation in PC12 cells stably expressing alpha(1A)-ARs. NE increased tyrosine phosphorylation of focal adhesion-related kinase Pyk2 and a 70 kDa protein, probably paxillin, whereas EGF strongly stimulated tyrosine phosphorylation of the EGF receptor and cytokine-activated kinase Jak2. The EGF receptor inhibitor AG1478 inhibited activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERKs) by EGF but not by NE. EGF and NGF strongly activated tyrosine phosphorylation of Shc and caused association of Src-homology collagen (Shc) with growth-factor-receptor-bound protein 2 (Grb2); however, neither NE nor UTP caused substantial activation of the Shc/Grb2 pathway. NE, UTP, EGF and NGF all increased tyrosine phosphorylation of Src, and this was inhibited by the Src inhibitor PP2. However, PP2 inhibited ERK activation in response to NE and UTP, but not in response to EGF or NGF. PP2 also completely blocked NE-induced PC12 cell differentiation, but had no measurable effect on NGF-induced differentiation. These studies show that activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways by G-protein-coupled receptors and tyrosine kinase receptors proceed through distinct molecular pathways in PC12 cells, and support an obligatory role for Src activation in mitogenic responses to alpha(1A)-ARs in these cells.
Project description:Clusterin (apolipoprotein J) is an extracellular glycoprotein that might exert functions in development, cell death and lipid transport. Clusterin gene expression is elevated at sites of tissue remodelling, such as differentiation and apoptosis; however, the signals responsible for this regulation have not been identified. We use here the clusterin gene as a model system to examine expression in PC12 cells under the control of differentiation and proliferation signals produced by nerve growth factor (NGF) and by epidermal growth factor (EGF) respectively. NGF induced clusterin mRNA, which preceded neurite outgrowth typical of neuronal differentiation. EGF also activated the clusterin mRNA, demonstrating that both proliferation and differentiation signals regulate the gene. To localize NGF- and EGF-responsive elements we isolated the clusterin promoter and tested it in PC12 cell transfections. A 2.5 kb promoter fragment and two 1.5 and 0.3 kb deletion mutants were inducible by NGF and EGF. The contribution to this response of a conserved activator protein 1 (AP-1) motif located in the 0.3 kb fragment was analysed by mutagenesis. The mutant promoter was not inducible by NGF or EGF, which identifies the AP-1 motif as an element responding to both factors. Binding studies with PC12 nuclear extracts showed that AP-1 binds to this sequence in the clusterin promoter. These findings suggest that NGF and EGF, which give differential gene regulation in PC12 cells, resulting in neuronal differentiation and proliferation respectively, use the common Ras/extracellular signal-regulated kinase/AP-1 signalling pathway to activate clusterin expression.
Project description:In PC12 phaeochromocytoma cells, protein synthesis is activated by epidermal and nerve growth factors (EGF and NGF). EGF and NGF also regulate a number of components of the translational machinery in these cells. Here we show that the ability of EGF and NGF to induce the phosphorylation of the 70 kDa ribosomal protein, S6 kinase, and the eukaryotic initiation factor (eIF), 4E-binding protein 1, is dependent upon the presence of amino acids (but not glucose) in the medium. This resembles the regulation of these proteins by insulin, which also requires amino acids. Glucose, but not amino acids, is required for the activation of eIF2B by EGF and NGF. In contrast, EGF and NGF can still activate protein synthesis in the absence of nutrients, suggesting that other regulatory events are important in this. In nutrient-deprived cells, an increase in the phosphorylation of eIF4E, and the assembly of the eIF4F complex by EGF and NGF, coincided with the activation of protein synthesis. In serum-starved cells, activation of protein synthesis, phosphorylation of eIF4E, and formation of the eIF4F complex, were blocked by inhibition of MEK, a component of the extracellular regulated kinase (ERK) signalling pathway. Thus the ERK pathway plays a key role in the regulation of protein synthesis in PC12 cells.
Project description:The nerve growth factor NGF has been shown to cause cell fate decisions toward either differentiation or proliferation depending on the relative activity of downstream pERK, pAKT, or pJNK signaling. However, how these protein signals are translated into and fed back from transcriptional activity to complete cellular differentiation over a time span of hours to days is still an open question. Comparing the time-resolved transcriptome response of NGF- or EGF-stimulated PC12 cells over 24 h in combination with protein and phenotype data we inferred a dynamic Boolean model capturing the temporal sequence of protein signaling, transcriptional response and subsequent autocrine feedback. Network topology was optimized by fitting the model to time-resolved transcriptome data under MEK, PI3K, or JNK inhibition. The integrated model confirmed the parallel use of MAPK/ERK, PI3K/AKT, and JNK/JUN for PC12 cell differentiation. Redundancy of cell signaling is demonstrated from the inhibition of the different MAPK pathways. As suggested in silico and confirmed in vitro, differentiation was substantially suppressed under JNK inhibition, yet delayed only under MEK/ERK inhibition. Most importantly, we found that positive transcriptional feedback induces bistability in the cell fate switch. De novo gene expression was necessary to activate autocrine feedback that caused Urokinase-Type Plasminogen Activator (uPA) Receptor signaling to perpetuate the MAPK activity, finally resulting in the expression of late, differentiation related genes. Thus, the cellular decision toward differentiation depends on the establishment of a transcriptome-induced positive feedback between protein signaling and gene expression thereby constituting a robust control between proliferation and differentiation.
Project description:Transient versus sustained ERK MAP kinase (MAPK) activation dynamics induce proliferation versus differentiation in response to epidermal (EGF) or nerve (NGF) growth factors in PC-12 cells. Duration of ERK activation has therefore been proposed to specify cell fate decisions. Using a biosensor to measure ERK activation dynamics in single living cells reveals that sustained EGF/NGF application leads to a heterogeneous mix of transient and sustained ERK activation dynamics in distinct cells of the population, different than the population average. EGF biases toward transient, while NGF biases toward sustained ERK activation responses. In contrast, pulsed growth factor application can repeatedly and homogeneously trigger ERK activity transients across the cell population. These datasets enable mathematical modeling to reveal salient features inherent to the MAPK network. Ultimately, this predicts pulsed growth factor stimulation regimes that can bypass the typical feedback activation to rewire the system toward cell differentiation irrespective of growth factor identity.
Project description:Neuronal differentiation of PC12 cells in response to NGF is a prototypical model in which signal duration determines a biological response. Sustained ERK activity induced by NGF, as compared to transient activity induced by EGF, is critical to the differentiation of these cells. To characterize the transcriptional program activated preferentially by NGF, we compared global gene expression profiles between cells treated with NGF and EGF for 2-4 hrs, when sustained ERK signaling in response to NGF is most distinct from the transient signal elicited by EGF. This analysis identified 69 genes that were preferentially upregulated in response to NGF. PC12 cells that were starved in low serum media for 24 hrs were treated with NGF (50ng/mL) or EGF (25ng/mL) for 2 or 4 hrs, or left untreated. Total RNA for 3 independent biological replicates was extracted and subjected to Affymetrix Rat Gene 1.0ST Arrays. The 69 genes that were preferentially upregulated by NGF compared to EGF met the following criteria: NGF/No treatment log2> 1, FDR p value< 0.01 and NGF/EGF log2> 0.75, FDR p value< 0.01.
Project description:Lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC) is one of the major lysophospholipids mainly generated by phospholipase A2 (PLA2)-mediated hydrolysis of phosphatidylcholine (PC). We previously found that LPC displays neurotrophin-like activity in the rat pheochromocytoma PC12 cells and in cerebellar granule neurons, but the molecular mechanism remains unclear. We report here that LPC specifically enhances nerve growth factor (NGF)-induced signals in PC12 cells. When PC12 cells were treated with NGF, MAPK was phosphorylated, but this phosphorylation was significantly elevated when LPC was added together. In accordance, NGF-induced expression of immediate early genes, c-fos and NGF-IA, was upregulated by LPC. Phosphorylation of the upstream components, MEK and NGF receptor TrkA, was also promoted by LPC, which was in line with increased phosphorylation of Akt. In contrast, LPC did not enhance epidermal growth factor (EGF)-, basic fibroblast growth factor-, or insulin-like growth factor-1-induced signals. Studies using TrkA/EGF receptor chimeras demonstrated that the extracellular domain, but not the transmembrane or intracellular domains, of TrkA is responsible for the effect of LPC. Exogenously-added secretory PLA2 (sPLA2) enhanced NGF-induced MAPK phosphorylation at a comparable level to LPC, suggesting that LPC generated in situ by sPLA2-mediated hydrolysis of membrane PC stimulated NGF-TrkA signal. Taken together, these results indicate a specific role and function of LPC on NGF-TrkA signaling pathway.
Project description:Stimulation of PC12 cells with nerve growth factor (NGF) increased mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MAPKK) activity > 20-fold after 5 min to a level that was largely sustained for at least 90 min. MAPKK activity was stimulated to a similar level by epidermal growth factor (EGF), but peaked at 2 min, declining thereafter and returning to basal levels after 60-90 min. Activation of MAPKK by either growth factor occurred prior to the activation of MAP kinase, consistent with MAPKK being the physiological activator of MAP kinase. The results demonstrate that the transient activation of MAPKK by EGF and its sustained activation by NGF underlies the transient and sustained activation of MAP kinase induced by EGF and NGF respectively. NGF or EGF induced the same two forms of MAPKK that were resolved on a Mono Q column. The Peak-1 MAPKK was activated initially and partially converted into the more acidic peak-2 MAPKK after prolonged growth-factor stimulation. The Peak-2 MAPKK was 20-fold more sensitive to inactivation by the catalytic subunit of protein phosphatase 2A. Stimulation with NGF caused a striking translocation of MAP kinase from the cytosol to the nucleus after 30 min, but not nuclear translocation of MAP kinase occurred after stimulation with EGF. The results suggest that sustained activation of the MAP kinase cascade may be required for MAP kinase to enter the nucleus, where it may initiate the gene transcription events required for neuronal differentiation of PC12 cells.
Project description:The nerve growth factor NGF has been shown to cause cell fate decisions towards either differentiation or proliferation depending on the relative activity of downstream pERK, pAKT or pJNK signaling. However, how these protein signals are translated into and fed back from transcriptional activity to complete cellular differentiation over a time span of hours to days is still an open question. Using dynamic proteome and transcriptome data from NGF-stimulated PC12 cells over a time span of 24 hours we inferred a dynamic Boolean model capturing the temporal sequence of protein signaling, transcriptional response and subsequent autocrine feedback. Optimal model topology was achieved by introducing multiple time scales for fast cellular signaling and slower gene response and subsequent fitting to the experimental data. The integrated model confirmed the parallel use of MEK/ERK, AKT/PI3K and JNK/JUN for PC12 cell differentiation. Redundancy of cell signaling is demonstrated from the inhibition of the different MAPK pathways. As suggested in silico and confirmed in vitro, differentiation was substantially suppressed under JNK/JUN inhibition, yet delayed only under MEK/ERK inhibition. Most importantly, we found that sustained transcriptional feedback is necessary to induce bistability in the cell fate switch. De novo Gene expression was necessary to activate autocrine feedback that caused integrin signaling to perpetuate the MAPK activity, finally resulting in the expression of late, differentiation related genes. Thus, the cellular decision towards differentiation depends on the establishment of a transcriptome-induced positive feedback between protein signaling and gene expression thereby constituting a robust control between proliferation and differentiation. To eludicate the transcriptome response of PC12 cells time-resolved gene expression data of NGF or EGF simulated PC12 were recorded at t = [0.5h 1h, 2h, 3h, 4h, 5h, 6h, 8h, 12h, 24h, 48h] for NGF and at t=[1h, 2h, 3h, 4h, 6h, 8h, 12h, 24h]. Control time points of unstimulated PC12 cells were taken at t=[0h, 2h, 4h, 6h, 8h, 24h, 48h]. Additionally, the MEK-inhibitor UO126 was added together with NGF and the gene response was measured at t=[1h, 2h, 4h, 6h, 8h, 12h, 24h, 48h] and for UO126 alone at t=[1h, 2h, 4h, 8h, 12h, 48h]. Total RNA was isolated, labeled and hybridized to an Illumina ratRef-12 bead array (Illumina, San Diego, CA, USA) according to the manufacturer’s protocol.
Project description:PC12 cells are a well-established model to study how differences in signal transduction duration can elicit distinct cell behaviors. Epidermal growth factor (EGF) activates transient ERK signaling in PC12 cells that lasts 30-60 min, which in turn promotes proliferation; nerve growth factor (NGF) activates more sustained ERK signaling that lasts 4-6 h, which in turns induces neuronal differentiation. Data presented here extend a previous study by Mullenbrock et al. (2011) that demonstrated that sustained ERK signaling in response to NGF induces preferential expression of a 69-member gene set compared to transient ERK signaling in response to EGF and that the transcription factors AP-1 and CREB play a major role in the preferential expression of several genes within the set. Here, we examined whether the Egr family of transcription factors also contributes to the preferential expression of the gene set in response to NGF. Our data demonstrate that NGF causes transient induction of all Egr family member transcripts, but a corresponding induction of protein was detected for only Egr1 and 2. Chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments provided clearest evidence that, after induction, Egr1 binds 12 of the 69 genes that are preferentially expressed during sustained ERK signaling. In addition, Egr1 expression and binding upstream of its target genes were both sustained in response to NGF versus EGF within the same timeframe that its targets are preferentially expressed. These data thus provide evidence that Egr1 contributes to the transcriptional program activated by sustained ERK signaling in response to NGF, specifically by contributing to the preferential expression of its target genes identified here.