Staff – Department of Biology - University of Copenhagen

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Effects of osmotic stress on the activity of MAPKs and PDGFR-beta-mediated signal transduction in NIH-3T3 fibroblasts

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Signaling in cell proliferation, cell migration, and apoptosis is highly affected by osmotic stress and changes in cell volume, although the mechanisms underlying the significance of cell volume as a signal in cell growth and death are poorly understood. In this study, we used NIH-3T3 fibroblasts in a serum- and nutrient-free inorganic medium (300 mosM) to analyze the effects of osmotic stress on MAPK activity and PDGF receptor (PDGFR)-beta-mediated signal transduction. We found that hypoosmolarity (cell swelling at 211 mosM) induced the phosphorylation and nuclear translocation of ERK1/2, most likely via a pathway independent of PDGFR-beta and MEK1/2. Conversely, hyperosmolarity (cell shrinkage at 582 mosM) moved nuclear and phosphorylated ERK1/2 to the cytoplasm and induced the phosphorylation and nuclear translocation of p38 and phosphorylation of JNK1/2. In a series of parallel experiments, hypoosmolarity did not affect PDGF-BB-induced activation of PDGFR-beta, whereas hyperosmolarity strongly inhibited ligand-dependent PDGFR-beta activation as well as downstream mitogenic signal components of the receptor, including Akt and the MEK1/2-ERK1/2 pathway. Based on these results, we conclude that ligand-dependent activation of PDGFR-beta and its downstream effectors Akt, MEK1/2, and ERK1/2 is strongly modulated (inhibited) by hyperosmotic cell shrinkage, whereas cell swelling does not seem to affect the activation of the receptor but rather to activate ERK1/2 via a different mechanism. It is thus likely that cell swelling via activation of ERK1/2 and cell shrinkage via activation of the p38 and JNK pathway and inhibition of the PDGFR signaling pathway may act as key players in the regulation of tissue homeostasis.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology: Cell Physiology
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)C1046-55
StatePublished - 2008

Bibliographical note

Keywords: Animals; Mice; Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases; NIH 3T3 Cells; Osmotic Pressure; Receptor, Platelet-Derived Growth Factor beta; Signal Transduction

ID: 10089839