Glucagon receptor activates extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase 1/2 via cAMP-dependent protein kinase.
ABSTRACT: 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:Activated G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and receptor tyrosine kinases relay extracellular signals through spatial and temporal controlled kinase and GTPase entities. These enzymes are coordinated by multifunctional scaffolding proteins for precise intracellular signal processing. The cAMP-dependent protein kinase A (PKA) is the prime example for compartmentalized signal transmission downstream of distinct GPCRs. A-kinase anchoring proteins tether PKA to specific intracellular sites to ensure precision and directionality of PKA phosphorylation events. Here, we show that the Rho-GTPase Rac contains A-kinase anchoring protein properties and forms a dynamic cellular protein complex with PKA. The formation of this transient core complex depends on binary interactions with PKA subunits, cAMP levels and cellular GTP-loading accounting for bidirectional consequences on PKA and Rac downstream signaling. We show that GTP-Rac stabilizes the inactive PKA holoenzyme. However, ?-adrenergic receptor-mediated activation of GTP-Rac-bound PKA routes signals to the Raf-Mek-Erk cascade, which is critically implicated in cell proliferation. We describe a further mechanism of how cAMP enhances nuclear Erk1/2 signaling: It emanates from transphosphorylation of p21-activated kinases in their evolutionary conserved kinase-activation loop through GTP-Rac compartmentalized PKA activities. Sole transphosphorylation of p21-activated kinases is not sufficient to activate Erk1/2. It requires complex formation of both kinases with GTP-Rac1 to unleash cAMP-PKA-boosted activation of Raf-Mek-Erk. Consequently GTP-Rac functions as a dual kinase-tuning scaffold that favors the PKA holoenzyme and contributes to potentiate Erk1/2 signaling. Our findings offer additional mechanistic insights how ?-adrenergic receptor-controlled PKA activities enhance GTP-Rac-mediated activation of nuclear Erk1/2 signaling.
Project description:Urocortin 2 (Ucn2) is a cardioactive peptide exhibiting beneficial effects in normal and failing heart. In cardiomyocytes, it elicits cAMP- and Ca(2+)-dependent positive inotropic and lusitropic effects. We tested the hypothesis that, in addition, Ucn2 activates cardiac nitric oxide (NO) signaling and elucidated the underlying signaling pathways and mechanisms. In isolated rabbit ventricular myocytes, Ucn2 caused concentration- and time-dependent increases in phosphorylation of Akt (Ser473, Thr308), endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) (Ser1177), and ERK1/2 (Thr202/Tyr204). ERK1/2 phosphorylation, but not Akt and eNOS phosphorylation, was suppressed by inhibition of MEK1/2. Increased Akt phosphorylation resulted in increased Akt kinase activity and was mediated by corticotropin-releasing factor 2 (CRF2) receptors (astressin-2B sensitive). Inhibition of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) diminished both Akt as well as eNOS phosphorylation mediated by Ucn2. Inhibition of protein kinase A (PKA) reduced Ucn2-induced phosphorylation of eNOS but did not affect the increase in phosphorylation of Akt. Conversely, direct receptor-independent elevation of cAMP via forskolin increased phosphorylation of eNOS but not of Akt. Ucn2 increased intracellular NO concentration ([NO]i), [cGMP], [cAMP], and cell shortening. Inhibition of eNOS suppressed the increases in [NO]i and cell shortening. When both PI3K-Akt and cAMP-PKA signaling were inhibited, the Ucn2-induced increases in [NO]i and cell shortening were attenuated. Thus, in rabbit ventricular myocytes, Ucn2 causes activation of cAMP-PKA, PI3K-Akt, and MEK1/2-ERK1/2 signaling. The MEK1/2-ERK1/2 pathway is not required for stimulation of NO signaling in these cells. The other two pathways, cAMP-PKA and PI3K-Akt, converge on eNOS phosphorylation at Ser1177 and result in pronounced and sustained cellular NO production with subsequent stimulation of cGMP signaling.
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:ERK1/2 is known to be involved in hormone-stimulated steroid synthesis, but its exact roles and the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. Both ERK1/2 phosphorylation and steroidogenesis may be triggered by cAMP/cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA)-dependent and-independent mechanisms; however, ERK1/2 activation by cAMP results in a maximal steroidogenic rate, whereas canonical activation by epidermal growth factor (EGF) does not. We demonstrate herein by Western blot analysis and confocal studies that temporal mitochondrial ERK1/2 activation is obligatory for PKA-mediated steroidogenesis in the Leydig-transformed MA-10 cell line. PKA activity leads to the phosphorylation of a constitutive mitochondrial MEK1/2 pool with a lower effect in cytosolic MEKs, while EGF allows predominant cytosolic MEK activation and nuclear pERK1/2 localization. These results would explain why PKA favors a more durable ERK1/2 activation in mitochondria than does EGF. By means of ex vivo experiments, we showed that mitochondrial maximal steroidogenesis occurred as a result of the mutual action of steroidogenic acute regulatory (StAR) protein -a key regulatory component in steroid biosynthesis-, active ERK1/2 and PKA. Our results indicate that there is an interaction between mitochondrial StAR and ERK1/2, involving a D domain with sequential basic-hydrophobic motifs similar to ERK substrates. As a result of this binding and only in the presence of cholesterol, ERK1/2 phosphorylates StAR at Ser(232). Directed mutagenesis of Ser(232) to a non-phosphorylable amino acid such as Ala (StAR S232A) inhibited in vitro StAR phosphorylation by active ERK1/2. Transient transfection of MA-10 cells with StAR S232A markedly reduced the yield of progesterone production. In summary, here we show that StAR is a novel substrate of ERK1/2, and that mitochondrial ERK1/2 is part of a multimeric protein kinase complex that regulates cholesterol transport. The role of MAPKs in mitochondrial function is underlined.
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.
Project description:<h4>Aims/hypothesis</h4>Pancreatic islet microendothelium exhibits unique features in interdependent relationship with beta cells. Gastrointestinal products of the ghrelin gene, acylated ghrelin (AG), unacylated ghrelin (UAG) and obestatin (Ob), and the incretin, glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), prevent apoptosis of pancreatic beta cells. We investigated whether the ghrelin gene products and the GLP-1 receptor agonist exendin-4 (Ex-4) display survival effects in human pancreatic islet microendothelial cells (MECs) exposed to chronic hyperglycaemia.<h4>Methods</h4>Islet MECs were cultured in high glucose concentration and treated with AG, UAG, Ob or Ex-4. Apoptosis was assessed by DNA fragmentation, Hoechst staining of the nuclei and caspase-3 activity. Western blot analyses and pharmacological inhibition of protein kinase B (Akt) and extracellular signal-related kinase (ERK)1/2 pathways, detection of intracellular cAMP levels and blockade of adenylyl cyclase (AC)/cAMP/protein kinase A (PKA) signalling were performed. Levels of NO, IL-1? and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-A in cell culture supernatant fractions were measured.<h4>Results</h4>Islet MECs express the ghrelin receptor GHS-R1A as well as GLP-1R. Treatment with AG, UAG, Ob and Ex-4 promoted cell survival and significantly inhibited glucose-induced apoptosis, through activation of PI3K/Akt, ERK1/2 phosphorylation and intracellular cAMP increase. Moreover, peptides upregulated B cell lymphoma 2 (BCL-2) and downregulated BCL-2-associated X protein (BAX) and CD40 ligand (CD40L) production, and significantly reduced the secretion of NO, IL-1? and VEGF-A.<h4>Conclusions/interpretation</h4>The ghrelin gene-derived peptides and Ex-4 exert cytoprotective effects in islet MECs. The anti-apoptotic effects involve phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt, ERK1/2 and cAMP/PKA pathways. These peptides could therefore represent a potential tool to improve islet vascularisation and, indirectly, islet cell function.
Project description:Neuropeptides of the adipokinetic hormone (AKH) family are among the best studied hormone peptides. They play important roles in insect hemolymph sugar homeostasis, larval lipolysis, and storage-fat mobilization. Mechanistic investigations have shown that, upon AKH stimulation, adipokinetic hormone receptor (AKHR) couples to a Gs protein and enhances adenylate cyclase activity, leading to intracellular cAMP accumulation. However, the underlying molecular mechanism by which this signaling pathway connects to extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) remains to be elucidated. Using HEK293 cells stably or transiently expressing AKHR, we demonstrated that activation of AKHR elicited transient phosphorylation of ERK1/2. Our investigation indicated that AKHR-mediated activation of ERK1/2 was significantly inhibited by H-89 (protein kinase A inhibitor), Go6983, and GF109203X (protein kinase C inhibitors) but not by U73122 (PLC inhibitor) or FIPI (PLD inhibitor). Moreover, AKHR-induced ERK1/2 phosphorylation was blocked by the calcium chelators EGTA and BAPTA-AM. Furthermore, ERK1/2 activation in both transiently and stably AKHR-expressing HEK293 cells was found to be sensitive to pretreatment of pertussis toxin, whereas AKHR-mediated ERK1/2 activation was insensitive to siRNA-induced knockdown of ?-arrestins and to pretreatment of inhibitors of EGFR, Src, and PI3K. On the basis of our data, we propose that activated AKHR signals to ERK1/2 primarily via PKA- and calcium-involved PKC-dependent pathways. Our current study provides the first in-depth study defining the mechanisms of AKH-mediated ERK activation through the Bombyx AKHR.
Project description:N-n-butyl haloperidol iodide (F2) has been shown to antagonize myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury by blocking calcium channels. This study explores the biological functions of ERK pathway in cardiomyocytes hypoxia/reoxygenation injury and clarifies the mechanisms by which F2 ameliorates cardiomyocytes hypoxia/reoxygenation injury through the extracellular-calcium-dependent and -independent ERK1/2-related pathways. In extracellularcalcium-containing hypoxia/reoxygenation cardiomyocytes, PKC? and ERK1/2 were activated, Egr-1 protein level and cTnI leakage increased, and cell viability decreased. The ERK1/2 inhibitors suppressed extracellular-calcium-containing-hypoxia/reoxygenation-induced Egr-1 overexpression and cardiomyocytes injury. PKC? inhibitor downregulated extracellularcalcium-containing-hypoxia/reoxygenation-induced increase in p-ERK1/2 and Egr-1 expression. F2 downregulated hypoxia/reoxygenation-induced elevation of p-PKC?, p-ERK1/2, and Egr-1 expression and inhibited cardiomyocytes damage. The ERK1/2 and PKC? activators antagonized F2's effects. In extracellular-calcium-free-hypoxia/reoxygenation cardiomyocytes, ERK1/2 was activated, LDH and cTnI leakage increased, and cell viability decreased. F2 and ERK1/2 inhibitors antagonized extracellular-calcium-free-hypoxia/reoxygenation-induced ERK1/2 activation and suppressed cardiomyocytes damage. The ERK1/2 activator antagonized F2's above effects. F2 had no effect on cardiomyocyte cAMP content or PKA and Egr-1 expression. Altogether, ERK activation in extracellular-calcium-containing and extracellular-calcium-free hypoxia/reoxygenation leads to cardiomyocytes damage. F2 may ameliorate cardiomyocytes hypoxia/reoxygenation injury by regulating the extracellular-calcium-dependent PKC?/ERK1/2/Egr-1 pathway and through the extracellular-calcium-independent ERK1/2 activation independently of the cAMP/PKA pathway or Egr-1 overexpression.
Project description:Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascades propagate a variety of cellular activities. Processive relay of signals through RAF-MEK-ERK modulates cell growth and proliferation. Signalling through this ERK cascade is frequently amplified in cancers, and drugs such as sorafenib (which is prescribed to treat renal and hepatic carcinomas) and PLX4720 (which targets melanomas) inhibit RAF kinases. Natural factors that influence ERK1/2 signalling include the second messenger cyclic AMP. However, the mechanisms underlying this cascade have been difficult to elucidate. We demonstrate that the A-kinase-anchoring protein AKAP-Lbc and the scaffolding protein kinase suppressor of Ras (KSR-1) form the core of a signalling network that efficiently relay signals from RAF, through MEK, and on to ERK1/2. AKAP-Lbc functions as an enhancer of ERK signalling by securing RAF in the vicinity of MEK1 and synchronizing protein kinase A (PKA)-mediated phosphorylation of Ser 838 on KSR-1. This offers mechanistic insight into cAMP-responsive control of ERK signalling events.
Project description:UNLABELLED: muscle cells (VSMCs) through activation of endothelin type A (ETA) and type B (ETB) receptors. The extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) are involved in ET-1-induced VSMC contraction and proliferation. This study was designed to investigate the ETA and ETB receptor intracellular signaling in human VSMCs and used phosphorylation (activation) of ERK1/2 as a functional signal molecule for endothelin receptor activity. RESULTS: Subconfluent human VSMCs were stimulated by ET-1 at different concentrations (1 nM-1 microM). The activation of ERK1/2 was examined by immunofluorescence, Western blot and phosphoELISA using specific antibody against phosphorylated ERK1/2 protein. ET-1 induced a concentration- and time- dependent activation of ERK1/2 with a maximal effect at 10 min. It declined to baseline level at 30 min. The ET-1-induced activation of ERK1/2 was completely abolished by MEK1/2 inhibitors U0126 and SL327, and partially inhibited by the MEK1 inhibitor PD98059. A dual endothelin receptor antagonist bosentan or the ETA antagonist BQ123 blocked the ET-1 effect, while the ETB antagonist BQ788 had no significant effect. However, a selective ETB receptor agonist, Sarafotoxin 6c (S6c) caused a time-dependent ERK1/2 activation with a maximal effect by less than 20% of the ET-1-induced activation of ERK1/2. Increase in bosentan concentration up to 10 microM further inhibited ET-1-induced activation of ERK1/2 and had a stronger inhibitory effect than BQ123 or the combined use of BQ123 and BQ788. To further explore ET-1 intracellular signaling, PKC inhibitors (staurosporin and GF109203X), PKC-delta inhibitor (rottlerin), PKA inhibitor (H-89), and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor (wortmannin) were applied. The inhibitors showed significant inhibitory effects on ET-1-induced activation of ERK1/2. However, blockage of L-type Ca2+ channels or calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II, chelating extracellular Ca2+ or emptying internal Ca2+ stores, did not affect ET-1-induced activation of ERK1/2. CONCLUSION: The ETA receptors predominate in the ET-1-induced activation of ERK1/2 in human VSMCs, which associates with increments in intracellular PKC, PKA and PI3K activities, but not Ca2+ signalling.