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J Biol Chem. 2002 Sep 6;277(36):32985-91. Epub 2002 Jul 2.

Fibroblast growth factor 1 regulates signaling via the glycogen synthase kinase-3beta pathway. Implications for neuroprotection.

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  • 1Department of Neurosciences, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093-0624, USA.


We hypothesize that in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and human immunodeficiency virus encephalitis the neuroprotective activity of fibroblast growth factor 1 (FGF1) against several neurotoxic agents might involve regulation of glycogen synthase kinase-3beta (GSK3beta), a pathway important in determining cell fate. In primary rat neuronal and HT22 cells, FGF1 promoted a time-dependent inactivation of GSK3beta by phosphorylation at serine 9. Blocking FGF1 receptors with heparinase reduced this effect. The effects of FGF1 on GSK3beta were dependent on phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)-protein kinase B (Akt) because inhibitors of this pathway or infection with dominant negative Akt adenovirus blocked inactivation. Furthermore, treatment of neuronal cells with FGF1 resulted in ERK-independent Akt phosphorylation and beta-catenin translocation into the nucleus. On the other hand, infection with wild-type GSK3beta recombinant adenovirus-associated virus increased activity of GSK3beta and cell death, both of which were reduced by FGF1 treatment. Moreover, FGF1 protection against glutamate toxicity was dependent on GSK3beta inactivation by the PI3K-Akt but was independent of ERK. Taken together these results suggest that neuroprotective effects of FGF1 might involve inactivation of GSK3beta by a pathway involving activation of the PI3K-Akt cascades.

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