Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1997

Publication Title

Molecular and Cellular Biology

Abstract

The mechanisms governing neuronal differentiation, including the signals underlying the induction of voltage-dependent sodium (Na+) channel expression by neurotrophic factors, which occurs independent of Ras activity, are not well understood. Therefore, Na+ channel induction was analyzed in sublines of PC12 cells stably expressing platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) beta receptors with mutations that eliminate activation of specific signalling molecules. Mutations eliminating activation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K), phospholipase C gamma (PLC gamma), the GTPase-activating protein (GAP), and Syp phosphatase failed to diminish the induction of type II Na+ channel alpha-subunit mRNA and functional Na+ channel expression by PDGF, as determined by RNase protection assays and whole-cell patch clamp recording. However, mutation of juxtamembrane tyrosines that bind members of the Src family of kinases upon receptor activation inhibited the induction of functional Na+ channels while leaving the induction of type II alpha-subunit mRNA intact. Mutation of juxtamembrane tyrosines in combination with mutations eliminating activation of PI3K, PLC gamma, GAP, and Syp abolished the induction of type II alpha-subunit mRNA, suggesting that at least partially redundant signaling mechanisms mediate this induction. The differential effects of the receptor mutations on Na+ channel expression did not reflect global changes in receptor signaling capabilities, as in all of the mutant receptors analyzed, the induction of c-fos and transin mRNAs still occurred. The results reveal an important role for the Src family in the induction of Na+ channel expression and highlight the multiplicity and combinatorial nature of the signaling mechanisms governing neuronal differentiation.

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