Author(s): Erhardt P, Troppmair J, Rapp UR, Cooper GM
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Abstract Growth factor stimulation of the mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase pathway in fibroblasts is inhibited by cyclic AMP (cAMP) as a result of inhibition of Raf-1. In contrast, cAMP inhibits neither nerve growth factor-induced MAP kinase activation nor differentiation in PC12 pheochromocytoma cells. Instead, in PC12 cells cAMP activates MAP kinase. Since one of the major differences between the Ras/Raf/MAP kinase cascades of these cell types is the expression of B-Raf in PC12 cells, we compared the effects of cAMP on Raf-1 and B-Raf. In PC12 cells maintained in serum-containing medium, B-Raf was refractory to inhibition by cAMP, whereas Raf-1 was effectively inhibited. In contrast, both B-Raf and Raf-1 were inhibited by cAMP in serum-starved PC12 cells. The effect of cAMP is thus dependent upon growth conditions, with B-Raf being resistant to cAMP inhibition in the presence of serum. These results were extended by studies of Rat-1 fibroblasts into which B-Raf had been introduced by transfection. As in PC12 cells, B-Raf was resistant to inhibition by cAMP in the presence of serum, whereas Raf-1 was effectively inhibited. In addition, the expression of B-Raf rendered Rat-1 cells resistant to the inhibitory effects of cAMP on both growth factor-induced activation of MAP kinase and mitogenesis. These results indicate that Raf-1 and B-Raf are differentially sensitive to inhibition by cAMP and that B-Raf expression can contribute to cell type-specific differences in the regulation of the MAP kinase pathway. In contrast to the situation in PC12 cells, cAMP by itself did not stimulate MAP kinase in B-Raf-expressing Rat-1 cells. The activation of MAP kinase by cAMP in PC12 cells was inhibited by the expression of a dominant negative Ras mutant, indicating that cAMP acts on a target upstream of Ras. Thus, it appears that a signaling component upstream of Ras is also require for cAMP stimulation of MAP kinase in PC12 cells.
This article was published in Mol Cell Biol
and referenced in Journal of Novel Physiotherapies