A cAMP-dependent, protein kinase A-independent signaling pathway mediating neuritogenesis through Egr1 in PC12 cells.
ABSTRACT: The neurotrophic peptide PACAP (pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide) elevates cAMP in PC12 cells. Forskolin and dibutyryl cAMP mimic PACAP's neuritogenic and cell morphological effects, suggesting that they are driven by cAMP. Comparison of microarray expression profiles after exposure of PC12 cells to either forskolin, dibutyryl cAMP, or PACAP revealed a small group of cAMP-dependent target genes. Neuritogenesis induced by all three agents is protein kinase A (PKA)-independent [not blocked by N-[2-(4-bromocinnamylamino)ethyl]-5-isoquinoline (H89)] and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)-dependent [blocked by 1,4-diamino-2,3-dicyano-1,4-bis(methylthio) butadiene (U0126)], and therefore cAMP-dependent target genes potentially mediating neuritogenesis were selected for further analysis based on the pharmacological profile of their induction by PACAP (i.e., mimicking that of neuritogenesis). Small interfering RNA (siRNA) targeting one of these genes, Egr1, blocked PACAP-induced neuritogenesis, and siRNA targeting another, Vil2, blocked a component of the cell size increase elicited by PACAP. Neither siRNA blocked PACAP's PKA-dependent antiproliferative effects. PACAP signaling to neuritogenesis was also impaired by dominant-negative Rap1 expression but was not affected by inhibition of protein kinase C (PKC), indicating a G-protein-coupled receptor-mediated differentiation pathway distinct from the one activated by receptor tyrosine kinase ligands such as nerve growth factor (NGF), that involves both Rap1 and PKC. We have thus identified a cAMP-dependent, PKA-independent pathway proceeding through ERK that functions to up-regulate the transcription of two genes, Egr1 and Vil2, required for PACAP-dependent neuritogenesis and increased cell size, respectively. Dominant-negative Rap1 expression impairs both PACAP-induced neuritogenesis and Egr1 activation by PACAP, suggesting that cAMP elevation and ERK activation by PACAP are linked through Rap1.
Project description:Pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP)-mediated activation of its G protein-coupled receptor PAC1 results in activation of the two G proteins Gs and Gq to alter second messenger generation and gene transcription in the nervous system, important for homeostatic responses to stress and injury. Heterologous expression of the three major splice variants of the rat PAC1 receptor, PAC1hop, null and hip, in neural NG108-15 cells conferred PACAP-mediated intracellular cAMP generation, while elevation of [Ca(2+)](i) occurred only in PAC1hop-, and to a lesser extent in PAC1null-expressing cells. Induction of vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP) and stanniocalcin 1 (STC1), two genes potentially involved in PACAP's homeostatic responses, was examined as a function of the expressed PAC1 variant. VIP induction was greatest in PAC1hop-expressing cells, suggesting that a maximal transcriptional response requires combinatorial signaling through both cAMP and Ca(2+). STC1 induction was similar for all three receptor splice variants and was mimicked by the adenylate cyclase activator forskolin, indicating that cAMP elevation is sufficient to induce STC1. The degree of activation of two different second messenger pathways appears to determine the transcriptional response, suggesting that cellular responses to stressors are fine-tuned through differential receptor isoform expression. Signaling to the VIP gene proceeded through cAMP and protein kinase A (PKA) in these cells, independently of the MAP kinase ERK1/2. STC1 gene induction by PACAP was dependent on cAMP and ERK1/2, independently of PKA. Differential gene induction via different cAMP dependent signaling pathways potentially provides further targets for the design of treatments for stress-associated disorders.
Project description:G protein (heterotrimeric guanine nucleotide-binding protein)-coupled receptor (GPCR)-mediated increases in the second messenger cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) activate the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), and in neuroendocrine cells, this pathway leads to cAMP-dependent neuritogenesis mediated through Rap1 and B-Raf. We found that the Rap guanine nucleotide exchange factor Rapgef2 was enriched from primary bovine neuroendocrine cells by cAMP-agarose affinity chromatography and that it was specifically eluted by cAMP. With loss-of-function experiments in the rat neuronal cell line Neuroscreen-1 (NS-1) and gain-of-function experiments in human embryonic kidney 293T cells, we demonstrated that Rapgef2 connected GPCR-dependent activation of adenylate cyclase and increased cAMP concentration with the activation of ERK in neurons and endocrine cells. Furthermore, knockdown of Rapgef2 blocked cAMP- and ERK-dependent neuritogenesis. Our data are consistent with a pathway involving the cAMP-mediated activation of Rapgef2, which then stimulates Rap1, leading to increases in B-Raf, MEK, and ERK activity.
Project description:The brain's biological clock is located in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the hypothalamus and generates circadian rhythms in physiology and behavior. The circadian clock needs daily adjustment by light to stay synchronized (entrained) with the astronomical 24 h light/dark cycle. Light entrainment occurs via melanopsin expressing retinal ganglion cells (mRGCs) and two neurotransmitters of the retinohypothalamic tract (RHT), PACAP and glutamate, which transmit light information to the SCN neurons. In SCN neurons, light signaling involves the immediate-early genes Fos, Egr1 and the clock genes Per1 and Per2. In this study, we used PACAP deficient mice to evaluate PACAP's role in light induced gene expression of EGR1 in SCN neurons during early (ZT17) and late (ZT23) subjective night at high (300 lux) and low (10 lux) white light exposure. We found significantly lower levels of both EGR1 mRNA and protein in the SCN in PACAP deficient mice compared to wild type mice at early subjective night (ZT17) exposed to low but not high light intensity. No difference was found between the two genotypes at late night (ZT23) at neither light intensities. In conclusion, light mediated EGR1 induction in SCN neurons at early night at low light intensities is dependent of PACAP signaling. A role of PACAP in shaping synaptic plasticity during light stimulation at night is discussed.
Project description:In this study, structural analysis of grass carp prolactin (PRL) gene was performed and the signaling mechanisms for pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating peptide (PACAP) regulation of PRL promoter activity were investigated. In ?T3-1 cells, PRL promoter activity could be induced by oPACAP38 which was blocked by PACAP antagonist but not the VIP antagonist. The stimulatory effect of oPACAP38 was mimicked by activation of AC/cAMP and voltage-sensitive Ca2+ channel (VSCC) signaling, or induction of Ca2+ entry. In parallel, PACAP-induced PRL promoter activity was negated or inhibited by suppressing cAMP production, inhibiting PKA activity, removal of extracellular Ca2+, VSCC blockade, calmodulin (CaM) antagonism, and inactivation of CaM kinase II. Similar sensitivity to L-type VSCC, CaM and CaM kinase II inhibition were also observed by substituting cAMP analog for oPACAP38 as the stimulant for PRL promoter activity. Moreover, PACAP-induced PRL promoter activity was also blocked by inhibition of PLC signaling, attenuation of [Ca2+]i immobilization via IP3 receptors, and blockade of PI3K/P70S6K pathway. The PACAP-induced PRL promoter activation may involve transactivation of the transcription factor CREB. These results suggest that PACAP can stimulate PRL promoter activation by PAC1 mediated functional coupling of the Ca2+/CaM/CaM kinase II cascades with the AC/cAMP/PKA pathway. Apparently, other signaling pathways, including PLC/IP3 and PI3K/P70S6K cascades, may also be involved in PACAP induction of PRL gene transcription.
Project description:The neuroprotective actions of PACAP (pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide) in vitro and in vivo suggest that activation of its cognate G protein coupled receptor PAC1 or downstream signaling molecules,and thus activation of PACAP target genes, could be of therapeutic benefit. Here, we show that cultured rat cortical neurons predominantly expressed the PAC1hop and null variants. PACAP receptor activation resulted in the elevation of the two second messengers cAMP and Ca(2+) and expression of the putative neuroprotectant stanniocalcin 1(STC1). PACAP signaling to the STC1 gene proceeded through the extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2(ERK1/2), but not through the cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA), and was mimicked by the adenylate cyclase activator forskolin. PACAP- and forskolin-mediated activation of ERK1/2 occurred through cAMP, but not PKA.These results suggest that STC1 gene induction proceeds through cAMP and ERK1/2, independently of PKA, the canonical cAMP effector. In contrast, PACAP signaling to the BDNF gene proceeded through PKA, suggesting that two different neuroprotective cAMP pathways co-exist in differentiated cortical neurons. The selective activation of a potentially neuroprotective cAMP-dependent pathway different from the canonical cAMP pathway used in many physiological processes, such as memory storage, has implications for pharmacological activation of neuroprotection in vivo.
Project description:Endothelial cells contain specialized storage organelles called Weibel-Palade bodies (WPBs) that release their content into the vascular lumen in response to specific agonists that raise intracellular Ca(2+) or cAMP. We have previously shown that cAMP-mediated WPB release is dependent on protein kinase A (PKA) and involves activation of the small GTPase RalA. Here, we have investigated a possible role for another PKA-independent cAMP-mediated signaling pathway in the regulation of WPB exocytosis, namely the guanine nucleotide exchange factor Epac1 and its substrate, the small GTPase Rap1. Epinephrine stimulation of endothelial cells leads to Rap1 activation in a PKA-independent fashion. siRNA-mediated knockdown of Epac1 abolished epinephrine-induced activation of Rap1 and resulted in decreased epinephrine-induced WPB exocytosis. Down-regulation of Rap1 expression and prevention of Rap1 activation through overexpression of Rap1GAP effectively reduced epinephrine- but not thrombin-induced WPB exocytosis. Taken together, these data uncover a new Epac-Rap1-dependent pathway by which endothelial cells can regulate WPB exocytosis in response to agonists that signal through cAMP.
Project description:<h4>Aims</h4>Cyclic AMP inhibits vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) proliferation which is important in the aetiology of numerous vascular diseases. The anti-mitogenic properties of cAMP in VSMC are dependent on activation of protein kinase A (PKA) and exchange protein activated by cAMP (EPAC), but the mechanisms are unclear.<h4>Methods and results</h4>Selective agonists of PKA and EPAC synergistically inhibited Egr1 expression, which was essential for VSMC proliferation. Forskolin, adenosine, A2B receptor agonist BAY60-6583 and Cicaprost also inhibited Egr1 expression in VSMC but not in endothelial cells. Inhibition of Egr1 by cAMP was independent of cAMP response element binding protein (CREB) activity but dependent on inhibition of serum response element (SRE) activity. SRF binding to the Egr1 promoter was not modulated by cAMP stimulation. However, Egr1 expression was dependent on the SRF co-factors Elk1 and 4 but independent of MAL. Inhibition of SRE-dependent Egr1 expression was due to synergistic inhibition of Rac1 activity by PKA and EPAC, resulting in rapid cytoskeleton remodelling and nuclear export of ERK1/2. This was associated with de-phosphorylation of the SRF co-factor Elk1.<h4>Conclusion</h4>cAMP inhibits VSMC proliferation by rapidly inhibiting Egr1 expression. This occurs, at least in part, via inhibition of Rac1 activity leading to rapid actin-cytoskeleton remodelling, nuclear export of ERK1/2, impaired Elk1-phosphorylation and inhibition of SRE activity. This identifies one of the earliest mechanisms underlying the anti-mitogenic effects of cAMP in VSMC but not in endothelial cells, making it an attractive target for selective inhibition of VSMC proliferation.
Project description:Rap1b has been implicated in the transduction of the cAMP mitogenic response. Agonists that increase intracellular cAMP rapidly activate (i.e. GTP binding) and phosphorylate Rap1b on Ser(179) at its C terminus. cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA)-mediated phosphorylation of Rap1b is required for cAMP-dependent mitogenesis, tumorigenesis, and inhibition of AKT activity. However, the role of phosphorylation still remains unknown. In this study, we utilized amide hydrogen/deuterium exchange mass spectroscopy (DXMS) to assess potential conformational changes and/or mobility induced by phosphorylation. We report here DXMS data comparing exchange rates for PKA-phosphorylated (Rap1-P) and S179D phosphomimetic (Rap1-D) Rap1b proteins. Rap1-P and Rap1-D behaved exactly the same, revealing an increased exchange rate in discrete regions along the protein; these regions include a domain around the phosphorylation site and unexpectedly the two switch loops. Thus, local effects induced by Ser(179) phosphorylation communicate allosterically with distal domains involved in effector interaction. These results provide a mechanistic explanation for the differential effects of Rap1 phosphorylation by PKA on effector protein interaction.
Project description:We prepared a stable cell line expressing the glucagon receptor to characterize the effect of G(s)-coupled receptor stimulation on extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) activity. Glucagon treatment of the cell line caused a dose-dependent increase in cAMP concentration, activation of cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA), and transient release of intracellular calcium. Glucagon treatment also caused rapid dose-dependent phosphorylation and activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase/ERK kinase (MEK1/2) and ERK1/2. Inhibition of either PKA or MEK1/2 blocked ERK1/2 activation by glucagon. However, no significant activation of several upstream activators of MEK, including Ras, Rap1, and Raf, was observed in response to glucagon treatment. In addition, chelation of intracellular calcium reduced glucagon-mediated ERK1/2 activation. In transient transfection experiments, glucagon receptor mutants that bound glucagon but failed to increase intracellular cAMP and calcium concentrations showed no glucagon-stimulated ERK1/2 phosphorylation. We conclude that glucagon-induced MEK1/2 and ERK1/2 activation is mediated by PKA and that an increase in intracellular calcium concentration is required for maximal ERK activation.
Project description:Hedgehog (Hh) proteins and cAMP-dependent protein kinase A (PKA) generally play opposing roles in developmental patterning events. Humans and mice heterozygous for mutations in the sonic hedgehog (Shh) receptor gene patched-1 (ptc1) have an increased incidence of certain types of cancer, including medulloblastoma (MB), a highly aggressive tumor of the cerebellum. Despite the importance of PKA in Hh signaling, little is known about how PKA activity is regulated in the context of Hh signaling, or the consequences of improper regulation. One molecule that can influence PKA activity is pituitary adenylyl cyclase-activating peptide (PACAP), which has been shown to regulate cerebellar granule precursor proliferation in vitro, a cell population thought to give rise to MB. To test for a PACAP/Hh interaction in the initiation or propagation of these tumors, we introduced a PACAP mutation into ptc1 mutant mice. Deletion of a single copy of PACAP increased MB incidence approximate 2.5-fold, to 66%, thereby demonstrating that PACAP exerts a powerful inhibitory action on the induction, growth or survival of these tumors. Tumors from PACAP/ptc1 mutant mice retained PACAP receptor gene expression, and exhibited superinduction of Hh target genes compared to those from ptc1+/- mice. Moreover, PACAP inhibited proliferation of cell lines derived from tumors in a PKA-dependent manner, and inhibited expression of the Hh target gene gli1. The results provide genetic evidence that PACAP acts as a physiological factor that regulates the pathogenesis of Hh pathway-associated MB tumors.