Expression of the naturally occurring truncated trkB neurotrophin receptor induces outgrowth of filopodia and processes in neuroblastoma cells. (1/4749)

We have investigated the effects of the truncated trkB receptor isoform T1 (trkB.T1) by transient transfection into mouse N2a neuroblastoma cells. We observed that expression of trkB.T1 leads to a striking change in cell morphology characterized by outgrowth of filopodia and processes. A similar morphological response was also observed in SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cells and NIH3T3 fibroblasts transfected with trkB.T1. N2a cells lack endogenous expression of trkB isoforms, but express barely detectable amounts of its ligands, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and neurotrophin-4 (NT-4). The morphological change was ligand-independent, since addition of exogenous BDNF or NT-4 or blockade of endogenous trkB ligands did not influence this response. Filopodia and process outgrowth was significantly suppressed when full-length trkB.TK+ was cotransfected together with trkB.T1 and this inhibitory effect was blocked by tyrosine kinase inhibitor K252a. Transfection of trkB.T1 deletion mutants showed that the morphological response is dependent on the extracellular, but not the intracellular domain of the receptor. Our results suggest a novel ligand-independent role for truncated trkB in the regulation of cellular morphology.  (+info)

Ral-specific guanine nucleotide exchange factor activity opposes other Ras effectors in PC12 cells by inhibiting neurite outgrowth. (2/4749)

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)

Neu differentiation factor stimulates phosphorylation and activation of the Sp1 transcription factor. (3/4749)

Neu differentiation factors (NDFs), or neuregulins, are epidermal growth factor-like growth factors which bind to two tyrosine kinase receptors, ErbB-3 and ErbB-4. The transcription of several genes is regulated by neuregulins, including genes encoding specific subunits of the acetylcholine receptor at the neuromuscular junction. Here, we have examined the promoter of the acetylcholine receptor epsilon subunit and delineated a minimal CA-rich sequence which mediates transcriptional activation by NDF (NDF-response element [NRE]). Using gel mobility shift analysis with an NRE oligonucleotide, we detected two complexes that are induced by treatment with neuregulin and other growth factors and identified Sp1, a constitutively expressed zinc finger phosphoprotein, as a component of one of these complexes. Phosphatase treatment, two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, and an in-gel kinase assay indicated that Sp1 is phosphorylated by a 60-kDa kinase in response to NDF-induced signals. Moreover, Sp1 seems to act downstream of all members of the ErbB family and thus may funnel the signaling of the ErbB network into the nucleus.  (+info)

Regulation of neurotrophin-3 expression by epithelial-mesenchymal interactions: the role of Wnt factors. (4/4749)

Neurotrophins regulate survival, axonal growth, and target innervation of sensory and other neurons. Neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) is expressed specifically in cells adjacent to extending axons of dorsal root ganglia neurons, and its absence results in loss of most of these neurons before their axons reach their targets. However, axons are not required for NT-3 expression in limbs; instead, local signals from ectoderm induce NT-3 expression in adjacent mesenchyme. Wnt factors expressed in limb ectoderm induce NT-3 in the underlying mesenchyme. Thus, epithelial-mesenchymal interactions mediated by Wnt factors control NT-3 expression and may regulate axonal growth and guidance.  (+info)

Activated macrophages and microglia induce dopaminergic sprouting in the injured striatum and express brain-derived neurotrophic factor and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor. (5/4749)

Nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons undergo sprouting around the margins of a striatal wound. The mechanism of this periwound sprouting has been unclear. In this study, we have examined the role played by the macrophage and microglial response that follows striatal injury. Macrophages and activated microglia quickly accumulate after injury and reach their greatest numbers in the first week. Subsequently, the number of both cell types declines rapidly in the first month and thereafter more slowly. Macrophage numbers eventually cease to decline, and a sizable group of these cells remains at the wound site and forms a long-term, highly activated resident population. This population of macrophages expresses increasing amounts of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor mRNA with time. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor mRNA is also expressed in and around the wound site. Production of this factor is by both activated microglia and, to a lesser extent, macrophages. The production of these potent dopaminergic neurotrophic factors occurs in a similar spatial distribution to sprouting dopaminergic fibers. Moreover, dopamine transporter-positive dopaminergic neurites can be seen growing toward and embracing hemosiderin-filled wound macrophages. The dopaminergic sprouting that accompanies striatal injury thus appears to result from neurotrophic factor secretion by activated macrophages and microglia at the wound site.  (+info)

Isolation and characterization of nerve growth factor from the venom of Naja naja atra. (6/4749)

Nerve growth factor was isolated from the venom of Naja naja atra by ion exchange and gel permeation chromatography and was found to be homogeneous by disc gel electrophoresis. The molecular weight was estimated to be approximately 20,000 by gel filtration and 22,000 by ultracentrifugation. This protein, which showed an isoelectric point of pH 7.02, probably consists of two subunits of equal molecular weight which are held together or interact with each other noncovalently. The biological activity survives treatment by a number of proteolytic enzymes, such as trypsin [EC 3.4.21.4], chymotrypsin [EC 3.4.21.1], and pepsin [EC 3.4.23.1].  (+info)

Prior exposure to neurotrophins blocks inhibition of axonal regeneration by MAG and myelin via a cAMP-dependent mechanism. (7/4749)

MAG is a potent inhibitor of axonal regeneration. Here, inhibition by MAG, and myelin in general, is blocked if neurons are exposed to neurotrophins before encountering the inhibitor; priming cerebellar neurons with BDNF or GDNF, but not NGF, or priming DRG neurons with any of these neurotrophins blocks inhibition by MAG/myelin. Dibutyryl cAMP also overcomes inhibition by MAG/myelin, and cAMP is elevated by neurotrophins. A PKA inhibitor present during priming abrogates the block of inhibition. Finally, if neurons are exposed to MAG/myelin and neurotrophins simultaneously, but with the Gi protein inhibitor, inhibition is blocked. We suggest that priming neurons with particular neurotrophins elevates cAMP and activates PKA, which blocks subsequent inhibition of regeneration and that priming is required because MAG/myelin activates a Gi protein, which blocks increases in cAMP. This is important for encouraging axons to regrow in vivo.  (+info)

Characterization of elementary Ca2+ release signals in NGF-differentiated PC12 cells and hippocampal neurons. (8/4749)

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)