Mechanical Stretch Stimulates Protein Kinase B/Akt Phosphorylation in Epidermal Cells via Angiotensin II Type 1 Receptor and Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor

Department of Dermatology, University of Frankfurt Medical School, D-60596 FrankfurtMain, Germany.
Journal of Biological Chemistry (Impact Factor: 4.57). 02/2005; 280(4):3060-7. DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M409590200
Source: PubMed


Mechanical stress is known to modulate fundamental events such as cell life and death. Mechanical stretch in particular has been identified as a positive regulator of proliferation in skin keratinocytes and other cell systems. In the present study it was investigated whether antiapoptotic signaling is also stimulated by mechanical stretch. It was demonstrated that mechanical stretch rapidly induced the phosphorylation of the proto-oncogene protein kinase B (PKB)/Akt at both phosphorylation sites (serine 473/threonine 308) in different epithelial cells (HaCaT, A-431, and human embryonic kidney-293). Blocking of phosphoinositide 3-OH kinase by selective inhibitors (LY-294002 and wortmannin) abrogated the stretch-induced PKB/Akt phosphorylation. Furthermore mechanical stretch stimulated phosphorylation of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and the formation of EGFR membrane clusters. Functional blocking of EGFR phosphorylation by either selective inhibitors (AG1478 and PD168393) or dominant-negative expression suppressed stretch-induced PKB/Akt phosphorylation. Finally, the angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AT1-R) was shown to induce positive transactivation of EGFR in response to cell stretch. These findings define a novel signaling pathway of mechanical stretch, namely the activation of PKB/Akt by transactivation of EGFR via angiotensin II type 1 receptor. Evidence is provided that stretch-induced activation of PKB/Akt protects cells against induced apoptosis.

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