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.
SourceAvailable from: Lauren Elizabeth Foltz[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Protein phosphorylation plays a central role in creating a highly dynamic network of interacting proteins that reads and responds to signals from growth factors in the cellular microenvironment. Cells of the neural crest employ multiple signaling mechanisms to control migration and differentiation during development. It is known that defects in these mechanisms cause neuroblastoma, but how multiple signaling pathways interact to govern cell behavior is unknown. In a phosphoproteomic study of neuroblastoma cell lines and cell fractions, including endosomes and detergent-resistant membranes, 1622 phosphorylated proteins were detected, including more than half of the receptor tyrosine kinases in the human genome. Data were analyzed using a combination of graph theory and pattern recognition techniques that resolve data structure into networks that incorporate statistical relationships and protein-protein interaction data. Clusters of proteins in these networks are indicative of functional signaling pathways. The analysis indicates that receptor tyrosine kinases are functionally compartmentalized into distinct collaborative groups distinguished by activation and intracellular localization of SRC-family kinases, especially FYN and LYN. Changes in intracellular localization of activated FYN and LYN were observed in response to stimulation of the receptor tyrosine kinases, ALK and KIT. The results suggest a mechanism to distinguish signaling responses to activation of different receptors, or combinations of receptors, that govern the behavior of the neural crest, which gives rise to neuroblastoma.PLoS Computational Biology 04/2015; 11(4):e1004130. DOI:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1004130 · 4.83 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are small nanometre-sized vesicles that are circulating in blood. They are released by multiple cells, including tumour cells. We hypothesized that circulating EVs contain protein kinases that may be assessed as biomarkers during treatment with tyrosine kinase inhibitors. EVs released by U87 glioma cells, H3255 and H1650 non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells were profiled by tandem mass spectrometry. Total AKT/protein kinase B and extracellular signal regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) levels as well as their relative phosphorylation were measured by western blot in isogenic U87 cells with or without mutant epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFRvIII) and their corresponding EVs. To assess biomarker potential, plasma samples from 24 healthy volunteers and 42 patients with cancer were used. In total, 130 different protein kinases were found to be released in EVs including multiple drug targets, such as mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), AKT, ERK1/2, AXL and EGFR. Overexpression of EGFRvIII in U87 cells results in increased phosphorylation of EGFR, AKT and ERK1/2 in cells and EVs, whereas a decreased phosphorylation was noted upon treatment with the EGFR inhibitor erlotinib. EV samples derived from patients with cancer contained significantly more protein (p=0.0067) compared to healthy donors. Phosphorylation of AKT and ERK1/2 in plasma EVs from both healthy donors and patients with cancer was relatively low compared to levels in cancer cells. Preliminary analysis of total AKT and ERK1/2 levels in plasma EVs from patients with NSCLC before and after sorafenib/metformin treatment (n=12) shows a significant decrease in AKT levels among patients with a favourable treatment response (p<0.005). Phosphorylation of protein kinases in EVs reflects their phosphorylation in tumour cells. Total AKT protein levels may allow monitoring of kinase inhibitor responses in patients with cancer.12/2014; 3:25657. DOI:10.3402/jev.v3.25657
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ABSTRACT: Effects of the kampo medicine yokukansan on gene expression of the cystine/glutamate antiporter system Xc-, which protects against glutamate-induced cytotoxicity, were examined in Pheochromocytoma cells (PC12 cells). Yokukansan inhibited glutamate-induced PC12 cell death. Similar cytoprotective effects were found in Uncaria hook. Experiments to clarify the active compounds revealed that geissoschizine methyl ether, hirsuteine, hirsutine, and procyanidin B1 in Uncaria hook, had cytoprotective effects. These components enhanced gene expressions of system Xc- subunits xCT and 4F2hc, and also ameliorated the glutamate-induced decrease in glutathione levels. These results suggest that the cytoprotective effect of yokukansan may be attributed to geissoschizine methyl ether, hirsuteine, hirsutine, and procyanidin B1 in Uncaria hook.PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(12):e116275. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0116275 · 3.53 Impact Factor