Transformation potency of ErbB heterodimer signaling is determined by B-Raf kinase

Bioinformatics Group, RIKEN Genomic Sciences Center, 1-7-22 Suehiro-cho, Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa 230-0045, Japan.
Oncogene (Impact Factor: 8.46). 07/2004; 23(29):5023-31. DOI: 10.1038/sj.onc.1207664
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Cellular transformation occurs only in cells that express both ErbB1 and ErbB4 receptors, but not in cells expressing only one or the other of these receptors. However, when both receptors are coexpressed and ligand-stimulated, they interact with virtually the same adaptor/effector proteins as when expressed singly. To reveal the underlying regulatory mechanism of the kinase/phosphatase network in ErbB homo- and heterodimer receptor signaling, extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and Akt activities were evaluated in the presence of several enzyme inhibitors in ligand-induced cells expressing ErbB1 (E1), ErbB4 (E4), and ErbB1/ErbB4 (E1/4) receptor. The PP2A inhibitor okadaic acid showed receptor-specific inhibitory profiles for ERK and Akt activities. Moreover, B-Raf isolated only from E1/4 cells could induce in vitro phosphorylation for MEK; this B-Raf kinase activity was abolished by pretreatment of the cells with okadaic acid. Our study further showed that the E1/4 cell-specific B-Raf activity was stimulated by PLC gamma and subsequent Rap1 activation. The present study suggests that B-Raf kinase, which was specifically activated in the cells coexpressing ErbB1 and ErbB4 receptors, elevates total ERK activity within the cell and, therefore, can induce cellular transformation.

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Available from: Akihiko Konagaya, Apr 08, 2014
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    • "As an additional measure of cAMP signaling in CNS and PNS neurons, we used phospho- PKA (p-PKA) substrate antibodies as an indirect read-out of cAMP-mediated PKA activation (Hatakeyama et al., 2004; Lei et al., 2007; Schmitt and Stork, 2002). In total cell lysates from CNS and PNS neurons, we detected four prominent bands consistently (100, 70, 40, and 32 kDa, respectively) on Western blot (Fig. 1d). "
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    ABSTRACT: Children with the neurofibromatosis-1 (NF1) cancer predisposition syndrome exhibit numerous clinical problems that reflect defective central nervous system (CNS) neuronal function, including learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, and seizures. These clinical features result from reduced NF1 protein (neurofibromin) expression in NF1+/- (NF1 heterozygosity) brain neurons. Previous studies have shown that mouse CNS neurons are sensitive to the effects of reduced Nf1 expression and exhibit shorter neurite lengths, smaller growth cone areas, and attenuated survival, reflecting attenuated neurofibromin cAMP regulation. In striking contrast, Nf1+/- peripheral nervous system (PNS) neurons are nearly indistinguishable from their wild-type counterparts, and complete neurofibromin loss leads to increased neurite lengths and survival in a RAS/Akt-dependent fashion. To gain insights into the differential responses of CNS and PNS neurons to reduced neurofibromin function, we designed a series of experiments to define the molecular mechanism(s) underlying the unique CNS neuronal sensitivity to Nf1 heterozygosity. First, Nf1 heterozygosity decreases cAMP levels in CNS, but not in PNS, neurons. Second, CNS neurons exhibit Nf1 gene-dependent increases in RAS pathway signaling, but no further decreases in cAMP levels were observed in Nf1-/- CNS neurons relative to their Nf1+/- counterparts. Third, neurofibromin regulates CNS neurite length and growth cone areas in a cAMP/PKA/Rho/ROCK-dependent manner in vitro and in vivo. Collectively, these findings establish cAMP/PKA/Rho/ROCK signaling as the responsible axis underlying abnormal Nf1+/- CNS neuronal morphology with important implications for future preclinical and clinical studies aimed at improving cognitive and behavioral deficits in mice and children with reduced brain neuronal NF1 gene expression.
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    • "If this is the case, Rap1 activity would be less influential on ERK activity. In order to confirm the lesser impact of Rap1 activity on ERK activity, we compared ERK activity 5 min after 10 nM EGF treatment in the presence or absence of the PLCγ inhibitor U73122, which can indirectly suppress Rap1 activity in CHO cells (Tables 1, no. 7) [21]. U73122 showed less effect on ERK activity both in E1 and E1/4 cells, and is consistent with the above-mentioned perspective based on steady-state analysis. "
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    ABSTRACT: Ligand-induced homo- and hetero-dimer formation of ErbB receptors results in different biological outcomes irrespective of recruitment and activation of similar effector proteins. Earlier experimental research indicated that cells expressing both EGFR (epidermal growth factor receptor) and the ErbB4 receptor (E1/4 cells) induced E1/4 cell-specific B-Raf activation and higher extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) activation, followed by cellular transformation, than cells solely expressing EGFR (E1 cells) in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells. Since our experimental data revealed the presence of positive feedback by ERK on upstream pathways, it was estimated that the cross-talk/feedback pathway structure of the Raf-MEK-ERK cascade might affect ERK activation dynamics in our cell system. To uncover the regulatory mechanism concerning the ERK dynamics, we used topological models and performed parameter estimation for all candidate structures that possessed ERK-mediated positive feedback regulation of Raf. The structure that reliably reproduced a series of experimental data regarding signal amplitude and duration of the signaling molecules was selected as a solution. We found that the pathway structure is characterized by ERK-mediated positive feedback regulation of B-Raf and B-Raf-mediated negative regulation of Raf-1. Steady-state analysis of the estimated structure indicated that the amplitude of Ras activity might critically affect ERK activity through ERK-B-Raf positive feedback coordination with sustained B-Raf activation in E1/4 cells. However, Rap1 that positively regulates B-Raf activity might be less effective concerning ERK and B-Raf activity. Furthermore, we investigated how such Ras activity in E1/4 cells can be regulated by EGFR/ErbB4 heterodimer-mediated signaling. From a sensitivity analysis of the detailed upstream model for Ras activation, we concluded that Ras activation dynamics is dominated by heterodimer-mediated signaling coordination with a large initial speed of dimerization when the concentration of the ErbB4 receptor is considerably high. Such characteristics of the signaling cause the preferential binding of the Grb2-SOS complex to heterodimer-mediated signaling molecules.
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