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Mol Cell Biol. Aug 1997; 17(8): 4442–4453.
PMCID: PMC232298

Requirement of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-dependent pathway and Src for Gas6-Axl mitogenic and survival activities in NIH 3T3 fibroblasts.

Abstract

Gas6 is a secreted protein previously identified as the ligand of the Axl receptor tyrosine kinase. We have shown that Gas6 is able to induce cell cycle reentry of serum-starved NIH 3T3 cells and to efficiently prevent apoptosis after complete growth factor removal, a survival effect uncoupled from Gas6-induced mitogenesis. Here we report that the mitogenic effect of Gas6 requires phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) activity since it is abrogated both by the specific inhibitor wortmannin and by overexpression of the dominant negative P13K p85 subunit. Consistently, Gas6 activates the P13K downstream targets S6K and Akt, whose activation is abrogated by addition of wortmannin. Moreover, rapamycin treatment blocks Gas6-induced entry into the S phase of serum-starved NIH 3T3 cells. We also demonstrate the requirement of Src tyrosine kinase for Gas6 signalling since stable or transient expression of a catalytically inactive form of Src significantly inhibited Gas6-stimulated entry into the S phase. Accordingly, Gas6 addition to serum-starved NIH 3T3 cells causes activation of the intrinsic Src kinase activity. When specifically analyzed in a survival assay, these elements were found to be required for the survival effect of Gas6. Taken together, the evidence presented here identifies elements involved in the Gas6 transduction pathway that are responsible for its antiapoptotic effect and suggests that Src is involved in the events regulating cell survival.

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