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J Biol Chem. 2002 Jan 25;277(4):2614-9. Epub 2001 Nov 12.

Phosphorylation of glycogen synthase kinase-3 and stimulation of T-cell factor signaling following activation of EP2 and EP4 prostanoid receptors by prostaglandin E2.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, College of Pharmacy, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721-0207, USA.


Recently we have shown that the FP(B) prostanoid receptor, a G-protein-coupled receptor that couples to Galpha(q), activates T-cell factor (Tcf)/lymphoid enhancer factor (Lef)-mediated transcriptional activation (Fujino, H., and Regan, J. W. (2001) J. Biol. Chem. 276, 12489-12492). We now report that the EP(2) and EP(4) prostanoid receptors, which couple to Galpha(s), also activate Tcf/Lef signaling. By using a Tcf/Lef-responsive luciferase reporter gene, transcriptional activity was stimulated approximately 10-fold over basal by 1 h of treatment with prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)) in HEK cells that were stably transfected with the human EP(2) and EP(4) receptors. This stimulation of reporter gene activity was accompanied by a PGE(2)-dependent increase in the phosphorylation of both glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) and Akt kinase. H-89, an inhibitor of protein kinase A (PKA), completely blocked the agonist-dependent phosphorylation of GSK-3 in both EP(2)- and EP(4)-expressing cells. However, H-89 pretreatment only blocked PGE(2)-stimulated Lef/Tcf reporter gene activity by 20% in EP(4)-expressing cells compared with 65% inhibition in EP(2)-expressing cells. On the other hand wortmannin, an inhibitor of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, had the opposite effect and inhibited PGE(2)-stimulated reporter gene activity to a much greater extent in EP(4)-expressing cells as compared with EP(2)-expressing cells. These findings indicate that the activation of Tcf/Lef signaling by EP(2) receptors occurs primarily through a PKA-dependent pathway, whereas EP(4) receptors activate Tcf/Lef signaling mainly through a phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-dependent pathway. This is the first indication of a fundamental difference in the signaling potential of EP(2) and EP(4) prostanoid receptors.

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