A two-dimensional ERK-AKT signaling code for an NGF-triggered cell-fate decision
ABSTRACT Growth factors activate Ras, PI3K, and other signaling pathways. It is not well understood how these signals are translated by individual cells into a decision to proliferate or differentiate. Here, using single-cell image analysis of nerve growth factor (NGF)-stimulated PC12 cells, we identified a two-dimensional phospho-ERK (pERK)-phospho-AKT (pAKT) response map with a curved boundary that separates differentiating from proliferating cells. The boundary position remained invariant when different stimuli were used or upstream signaling components perturbed. We further identified Rasa2 as a negative feedback regulator that links PI3K to Ras, placing the stochastically distributed pERK-pAKT signals close to the decision boundary. This allows for uniform NGF stimuli to create a subpopulation of cells that differentiates with each cycle of proliferation. Thus, by linking a complex signaling system to a simpler intermediate response map, cells gain unique integration and control capabilities to balance cell number expansion with differentiation.
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ABSTRACT: Cells can make fate decisions in response to information from the environment. In this issue of Molecular Cell, Chen et al. (2012) describe how the design of a signal-processing pathway allows a homogenous population of cells to display diverse responses to uniform growth factor cues.Molecular cell 01/2012; 45(2):143-4. DOI:10.1016/j.molcel.2012.01.004 · 14.46 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Viruses have evolved to manipulate the host cell machinery for virus propagation, in part by interfering with the host cellular signaling network. Molecular studies of individual pathways have uncovered many viral host-protein targets; however, it is difficult to predict how viral perturbations will affect the signaling network as a whole. Systems biology approaches rely on multivariate, context-dependent measurements and computational analysis to elucidate how viral infection alters host cell signaling at a network level. Here we describe recent advances in systems analyses of signaling networks in both viral and non-viral biological contexts. These approaches have the potential to uncover virus- mediated changes to host signaling networks, suggest new therapeutic strategies, and assess how cell-to-cell variability affects host responses to infection. We argue that systems approaches will both improve understanding of how individual virus-host protein interactions fit into the progression of viral pathogenesis and help to identify novel therapeutic targets.BMB reports 04/2012; 45(4):213-20. DOI:10.5483/BMBRep.2012.45.4.213 · 1.99 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Dual-specificity MAP kinase phosphatases (MKPs) provide a complex negative regulatory network that acts to shape the duration, magnitude and spatiotemporal profile of MAP kinase activities in response to both physiological and pathological stimuli. Individual MKPs may exhibit either exquisite specificity towards a single mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) isoform or be able to regulate multiple MAPK pathways in a single cell or tissue. They can act as negative feedback regulators of MAPK activity, but can also provide mechanisms of crosstalk between distinct MAPK pathways and between MAPK signalling and other intracellular signalling modules. In this review, we explore the current state of knowledge with respect to the regulation of MKP expression levels and activities, the mechanisms by which individual MKPs recognize and interact with different MAPK isoforms and their role in the spatiotemporal regulation of MAPK signalling.FEBS Journal 07/2012; 280(2). DOI:10.1111/j.1742-4658.2012.08716.x · 3.99 Impact Factor