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J Biol Chem. 2003 Nov 28;278(48):48474-84. Epub 2003 Sep 16.

The phospholipase C gamma 1-dependent pathway of Fc epsilon RI-mediated mast cell activation is regulated independently of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase.

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  • 1Laboratory of Allergic Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


Mast cell degranulation following Fc epsilon RI aggregation is generally believed to be dependent on phosphatidylinositide 3-kinase (PI 3-kinase)-mediated phospholipase C (PLC)gamma activation. Here we report evidence that the PLC gamma 1-dependent pathway of Fc epsilon RI-mediated activation of mast cells is independent of PI 3-kinase activation. In primary cultures of human mast cells, Fc epsilon RI aggregation induced a rapid translocation and phosphorylation of PLC gamma 1, and subsequent inositol trisphosphate (IP3) production, which preceded PI 3-kinase-related signals. In addition, although PI 3-kinase-mediated responses were completely inhibited by wortmannin, even at high concentrations, this PI 3-kinase inhibitor had no effect on parameters of Fc epsilon RI-mediated PLC gamma activation, and had little effect on the initial increase in intracellular calcium levels that correlated with PLC gamma activation. Wortmannin, however, did produce a partial (approximately 50%) concentration-dependent inhibition of Fc epsilon RI-mediated degranulation in human mast cells and a partial inhibition of the later calcium response at higher concentrations. Further studies, conducted in mast cells derived from the bone marrow of mice deficient in the p85 alpha and p85 beta subunits of PI 3-kinase, also revealed no defects in Fc epsilon RI-mediated PLC gamma 1 activation. These data are consistent with the conclusion that the PLC gamma-dependent component of Fc epsilon RI-mediated calcium flux leading to degranulation of mast cells is independent of PI 3-kinase. However, PI 3-kinase may contribute to the later phase of Fc epsilon RI-mediated degranulation in human mast cells.

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