Author(s): Yao R, Osada H
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Rat pheochromocytoma cells, PC12 cells, undergo differentiation in response to nerve growth factor (NGF). Although the Ras-MAP kinase signaling pathway has been shown to play a central role in the response to NGF, the precise mechanism which induces differentiation remains unclarified. Recently, several gamma-lactam-related microbial products were identified to induce neurite outgrowth in neuroblastoma cells. Therefore, we synthesized a series of gamma-lactam-related compounds and tested for their ability to induce neurite outgrowth in PC12 cells. We found that two compounds, MT-19 and MT-20, induced neurite outgrowth at concentrations as low as 1 microg/ml. MT-19 and MT-20 have an n-hexadecyl group and an n-dodecyl group, respectively, at the position N-1 of the gamma-lactam ring, and the modification of this group leads to partial or complete loss of activity. In addition, the modification of the methyl and hydroxyl group at C-5 leads to complete loss of activity, indicating a strict structure-activity relationship. Interestingly, MT-19 and MT-20 induced neurite outgrowth of PC12 cells which lack normal Ras function. Furthermore, these compounds did not induce MAP kinase activation, suggesting that MT-19 and MT-20 do not require the Ras-MAP kinase signaling pathway which is shown to be necessary and sufficient for NGF-induced neurite outgrowth. Consistent with this, none of the early- or late-response genes tested, which include fos, zif268, Nur77, vgf, and transin, was induced. However, the protein level of three neurofilaments was increased after the incubation with these compounds. Since the level of other cytoskeleton proteins including actin and tubulin remained constant, MT-19 and MT-20 specifically affected neurofilament synthesis and/or turnover. Taken together, these findings indicate that MT-19 and MT-20 induce neurite outgrowth by activating the downstream target of MAP kinase or by a novel mechanism which is distinct from the NGF-activated pathway.
This article was published in Exp Cell Res
and referenced in Journal of Novel Physiotherapies