Ras proteins can activate at least three classes of downstream target proteins: Raf kinases, phosphatidylinositol-3 phosphate (PI3) kinase, and Ral-specific guanine nucleotide exchange factors (Ral-GEFs). In NIH 3T3 cells, activated Ral-GEFs contribute to Ras-induced cell proliferation and oncogenic transformation by complementing the activities of Raf and PI3 kinases. In PC12 cells, activated Raf and PI3 kinases mediate Ras-induced cell cycle arrest and differentiation into a neuronal phenotype. Here, we show that in PC12 cells, Ral-GEF activity acts opposite to other Ras effectors. Elevation of Ral-GEF activity induced by transfection of a mutant Ras protein that preferentially activates Ral-GEFs, or by transfection of the catalytic domain of the Ral-GEF Rgr, suppressed cell cycle arrest and neurite outgrowth induced by nerve growth factor (NGF) treatment. In addition, Rgr reduced neurite outgrowth induced by a mutant Ras protein that preferentially activates Raf kinases. Furthermore, inhibition of Ral-GEF activity by expression of a dominant negative Ral mutant accelerated cell cycle arrest and enhanced neurite outgrowth in response to NGF treatment. Ral-GEF activity may function, at least in part, through inhibition of the Rho family GTPases, CDC42 and Rac. In contrast to Ras, which was activated for hours by NGF treatment, Ral was activated for only approximately 20 min. These findings suggest that one function of Ral-GEF signaling induced by NGF is to delay the onset of cell cycle arrest and neurite outgrowth induced by other Ras effectors. They also demonstrate that Ras has the potential to promote both antidifferentiation and prodifferentiation signaling pathways through activation of distinct effector proteins. Thus, in some cell types the ratio of activities among Ras effectors and their temporal regulation may be important determinants for cell fate decisions between proliferation and differentiation. (+info)
(2/2773) Hyperoxia induces the neuronal differentiated phenotype of PC12 cells via a sustained activity of mitogen-activated protein kinase induced by Bcl-2.
We previously reported that rat pheochromocytoma PC12 cells express the neuronal differentiated phenotype under hyperoxia through the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). In the present study, we found that in this phenotype, Bcl-2, an apoptosis inhibitor, affects mitogen-activated protein (MAP)-kinase activity, which is known as a key enzyme of the signal-transduction cascade for differentiation. When PC12 cells were cultured under hyperoxia, a rapid increase in MAP-kinase activity, including that of both p42 and p44, was observed. Although the activity level then decreased quickly, activity higher than the control level was observed for 48 h. PD98059, an inhibitor of MAP kinase, suppressed the hyperoxia-induced neurite extensions, suggesting the involvement of MAP-kinase activity in the mechanism of differentiation induced by ROS. An elevation of Bcl-2 expression was observed after culturing PC12 cells for 24 h under hyperoxia. This Bcl-2 elevation was not affected by treatment with PD98059, suggesting that it did not directly induce neurite extension under hyperoxia. However, the blockade of the Bcl-2 elevation by an antisense oligonucleotide inhibited the sustained MAP-kinase activity and neurite extensions under hyperoxia. Further, in PC12 cells highly expressing Bcl-2, the sustained MAP-kinase activity and neurite extensions under hyperoxia were enhanced. These results suggested that MAP kinase is activated through the production of ROS, and the subsequent elevation of Bcl-2 expression sustains the MAP-kinase activity, resulting in the induction of the neuronal-differentiation phenotype of PC12 cells under hyperoxia. (+info)
(3/2773) Characterization of elementary Ca2+ release signals in NGF-differentiated PC12 cells and hippocampal neurons.
Elementary Ca2+ release signals in nerve growth factor- (NGF-) differentiated PC12 cells and hippocampal neurons, functionally analogous to the "Ca2+ sparks" and "Ca2+ puffs" identified in other cell types, were characterized by confocal microscopy. They either occurred spontaneously or could be activated by caffeine and metabotropic agonists. The release events were dissimilar to the sparks and puffs described so far, as many arose from clusters of both ryanodine receptors (RyRs) and inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptors (InsP3Rs). Increasing either the stimulus strength or loading of the intracellular stores enhanced the frequency of and coupling between elementary release sites and evoked global Ca2+ signals. In the PC12 cells, the elementary Ca2+ release preferentially occurred around the branch points. Spatio-temporal recruitment of such elementary release events may regulate neuronal activities. (+info)
(4/2773) Neurite outgrowth-regulating properties of GABA and the effect of serum on mouse spinal cord neurons in culture.
Time-lapse photography was used to examine the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) on the outgrowth and motility of neurites in cultures from mouse spinal cord. GABA at concentrations of 100, 10 and 1 microM caused significant inhibition of neurite outgrowth and the motility of growth cones was significantly reduced by treatment with 100 and 10 microM GABA. This effect was mimicked by the GABA(B) receptor agonist baclofen, whereas the GABA(A) receptor agonist muscimol had no effect. The effect of GABA on outgrowth and motility seems to be dependent on the type of serum employed. The results reported here were obtained only when heat-inactivated serum was used and not when non heat-inactivated serum was added to the culture medium. They suggest that GABA has a role in the regulation of process outgrowth within the embryonic mouse spinal cord. (+info)
(5/2773) Human nerve growth factor beta (hNGF-beta): mammary gland specific expression and production in transgenic rabbits.
Transgenic rabbits carrying gene constructs encoding human nerve growth factor beta (hNGF-beta) cDNA were generated. Expression of hNGF-beta mRNA was restricted to the mammary gland of lactating rabbits. Western Blot analysis revealed a polypeptide of 13.2 kDa in the milk of transgenic animals. hNGF-beta was purified from the milk by a two-step chromatographic procedure. Electrospray mass spectroscopy analysis of purified hNGF-beta depicted a molecular weight of 13,261 Da per subunit. The biological activity of the hNGF-beta was tested using PC12W2 cells and cultures of dorsal root ganglion neurons from chicken embryos. Crude defatted milk from transgenic animals and purified hNGF-beta demonstrated full biological activity when compared to commercial recombinant hNGF-beta. (+info)
(6/2773) ELAV tumor antigen, Hel-N1, increases translation of neurofilament M mRNA and induces formation of neurites in human teratocarcinoma cells.
Human ELAV proteins are implicated in cell growth and differentiation via regulation of mRNA expression in the cytoplasm. In human embryonic teratocarcinoma (hNT2) cells transfected with the human neuronal ELAV-like protein, Hel-N1, neurites formed, yet cells were not terminally differentiated. Cells in which neurite formation was associated with Hel-N1 overexpression, also expressed increased levels of endogenous neurofilament M (NF-M) protein, which distributed along the neurites. However, steady-state levels of NF-M mRNA remained similar whether or not hNT2 cells were transfected with Hel-N1. These findings suggest that turnover of NF-M mRNA was not affected by Hel-N1 expression, despite the fact that Hel-N1 can bind to the 3' UTR of NF-M mRNA and was found directly associated with NF-M mRNA in transfected cells. Analysis of the association of NF-M mRNA with the translational apparatus in Hel-N1 transfectants showed nearly complete recruitment to heavy polysomes, indicating that Hel-N1 caused an increase in translational initiation. Our results suggest that the stability and/or translation of ARE-containing mRNAs can be regulated independently by the ELAV protein, Hel-N1, depending upon sequence elements in the 3' UTRs and upon the inherent turnover rates of the mRNAs that are bound to Hel-N1 in vivo. (+info)
(7/2773) Myelin and collapsin-1 induce motor neuron growth cone collapse through different pathways: inhibition of collapse by opposing mutants of rac1.
Precise growth cone guidance is the consequence of a continuous reorganization of actin filament structures within filopodia and lamellipodia in response to inhibitory and promoting cues. The small GTPases rac1, cdc42, and rhoA are critical for regulating distinct actin structures in non-neuronal cells and presumably in growth cones. Collapse, a retraction of filopodia and lamellipodia, is a typical growth cone behavior on contact with inhibitory cues and is associated with depolymerization and redistribution of actin filaments. We examined whether small GTPases mediate the inhibitory properties of CNS myelin or collapsin-1, a soluble semaphorin, in chick embryonic motor neuron cultures. As demonstrated for collapsin-1, CNS myelin-evoked growth cone collapse was accompanied by a reduction of rhodamine-phalloidin staining most prominent in the growth cone periphery, suggesting actin filament disassembly. Specific mutants of small GTPases were capable of desensitizing growth cones to CNS myelin or collapsin-1. Adenoviral-mediated expression of constitutively active rac1 or rhoA abolished CNS myelin-induced collapse and allowed remarkable neurite extension on a CNS myelin substrate. In contrast, expression of dominant negative rac1 or cdc42 negated collapsin-1-induced growth cone collapse and promoted neurite outgrowth on a collapsin-1 substrate. These findings suggest that small GTPases can modulate the signaling pathways of inhibitory stimuli and, consequently, allow the manipulation of growth cone behavior. However, the fact that opposite mutants of rac1 were effective against different inhibitory stimuli speaks against a universal signaling pathway underlying growth cone collapse. (+info)
(8/2773) Specification of distinct dopaminergic neural pathways: roles of the Eph family receptor EphB1 and ligand ephrin-B2.
Dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra and ventral tegmental area project to the caudate putamen and nucleus accumbens/olfactory tubercle, respectively, constituting mesostriatal and mesolimbic pathways. The molecular signals that confer target specificity of different dopaminergic neurons are not known. We now report that EphB1 and ephrin-B2, a receptor and ligand of the Eph family, are candidate guidance molecules for the development of these distinct pathways. EphB1 and ephrin-B2 are expressed in complementary patterns in the midbrain dopaminergic neurons and their targets, and the ligand specifically inhibits the growth of neurites and induces the cell loss of substantia nigra, but not ventral tegmental, dopaminergic neurons. These studies suggest that the ligand-receptor pair may contribute to the establishment of distinct neural pathways by selectively inhibiting the neurite outgrowth and cell survival of mistargeted neurons. In addition, we show that ephrin-B2 expression is upregulated by cocaine and amphetamine in adult mice, suggesting that ephrin-B2/EphB1 interaction may play a role in drug-induced plasticity in adults as well. (+info)