Effect of nerve growth factor from the venom of A. halys on the expression of mitogen-activated protein kinases of PC12 cells

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Mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) is a group of important protein kinases involved in phosphorylation cascade in the mitogen-initiated signal transduction pathways. NGF from Agkistrodon halys has been used to investigate its effects on MAPK and MAPKK of PC12 cells. The results showed that this kind of NGF increased MAPK and MAPKK expression and MAPK activity. The above increases were NGF concentration dependent in the range of 25-100 μg/L. The use of PKC inhibitor H-7 indicated that the increased expressions of MAPK and MAPKK expression were PKC-dependent.

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Incubation of cell-free extracts from PC12 cells with [32P]ATP leads to the phosphorylation of a 100,000-dalton protein. In extracts from cells treated with nerve growth factor, the labeling of the 100,000-dalton protein is substantially and selectively reduced. Direct quantitation indicates that the reduction is a minimum of 30-50% in the various experiments. The decrease is evident after as little as 15 min of nerve growth factor treatment, and disappears within 2 h after the removal of nerve growth factor. The decrease is dose dependent; a complete response is seen after treatment with 10 ng of nerve growth factor/ml. Some decrease in phosphorylation is also seen after treatment of the cells with epidermal growth factor, 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate, or 5'-N-ethylcarboxamideadenosine, a potent adenosine receptor agonist, but not after treatment with insulin. The phosphorylation of the 100,000-dalton protein, in extracts from either control or nerve growth factor-treated cells, leads almost exclusively to the formation of phosphothreonine. The addition of equal amounts of extract from untreated cells and extract from nerve growth factor-treated cells produces a level of phosphorylation exactly intermediate between those of the two extracts used separately, indicating the absence of a soluble kinase inhibitor. The data suggest that nerve growth factor treatment produces either a covalent inhibition or a physical removal of the kinase for the 100,000-dalton protein.
Nerve growth factor (NGF), epidermal growth factor (EGF), insulin, cholera toxin (CT) and cAMP all stimulate the phosphorylation of proteins in the PC12 nerve-like cell line. NGF, CT and cAMP enhance phosphorylation of the same set of proteins including tyrosine hydroxylase, ribosomal protein S6, histones H1 and H3, and the nonhistone chromosomal and cytoplasmic high mobility group (HMG) 17 protein, and reduce phosphorylation of H2A. EGF but not insulin enhances the phosphorylation of tyrosine hydroxylase. Insulin but not EGF enhances the phosphorylation of histone H3 and decreases the phosphorylation of H2A. EGFD and insulin each enhance phosphorylations of both ribosomal protein S6 and histone H1, but neither hormone induces phosphorylation of HMG 17. The extent of these effects depends upon the ligand concentration and is half-maximal at physiological concentrations of the hormones (beta-NGF, 2 ng/ml; EGF, 1 ng/ml. insulin, 0.5 microunits/ml). Maximal effects of NGF are seen within 15 min and persist even after 3 days of culture in the presence of NGF. When phosphorylation of ribosomal protein S6 is maximally stimulated by NGF, no further stimulation can be achieved by adding saturating quantities of either cAMP or CT. However, simultaneous addition of saturating quantities of NGF and either EGF or insulin results in an enhancement of phosphorylation that is equal to the sum of that achieved when the two ligands are added separately. These results suggest that the enhanced phosphorylation of S6 achieved by NGF or cAMP occurs through a common mechanism which differs from those which mediate EGF or insulin-enhanced phosphorylation. The data also provide strong evidence that the action of NGF included protein phosphorylation mediated by cAMP-dependent protein kinase. The phosphorylation of each of these proteins in response to NGF may play an important role in NGF action.
Mitogen activated protein (MAP) kinases and their target ribosomal protein S6 (RSK) kinases have been recognized as shared components in the intracellular signaling pathways of many diverse cytokines. Recent studies have extended this protein kinase cascade by identifying the major activator of vertebrate MAP kinases as a serine/threonine/tyrosine-protein kinase called MEK, which is related to yeast mating factor-regulated protein kinases encoded by the STE7 and byr1 genes. MEK, in turn, may be activated following its phosphorylation on serine by either of the kinases encoded by proto-oncogenesraf1 ormos, as well as by p78mekk , which is related to the yeast STE11 and byr2 gene products. Isoforms of all of these protein kinases may specifically combine to assemble distinct modules for intracellular signal transmission. However, the fundamental architecture of these protein kinase cascades has been highly conserved during eukaryotic evolution.