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J Biol Chem. 1994 Jan 14;269(2):1110-9.

Endothelin-1 and fibroblast growth factors stimulate the mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling cascade in cardiac myocytes. The potential role of the cascade in the integration of two signaling pathways leading to myocyte hypertrophy.

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  • 1Department of Cardiac Medicine, National Heart and Lung Institute, University of London, United Kingdom.


Maximally effective concentrations of endothelin-1 (ET-1), acidic FGF (aFGF), or 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) activated mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) by 3-4-fold in crude extracts of myocytes cultured from neonatal rat heart ventricles. Maximal activation was achieved after 5 min. Thereafter, MAPK activity stimulated by ET-1 or aFGF declined to control values within 1-2 h, whereas activation by TPA was more sustained. Two peaks of MAPK activity (a 42- and a 44-kDa MAPK) were resolved in cells exposed to ET-1 or aFGF by fast protein liquid chromatography on a Mono Q column. One major and one minor peak of MAPK kinase (MAPKK) was stimulated by ET-1 or aFGF. Cardiac myocytes expressed protein kinase C (PKC)-alpha, -delta, -epsilon and -zeta as shown immunoblotting. Exposure to 1 microM TPA for 24 h down-regulated PKC-alpha, -delta, and -epsilon, but not PKC-zeta. This maneuver wholly abolished the activation of MAPK on re-exposure to TPA but did not affect the response to aFGF. The effect of ET-1 was partially down-regulated. ET-1 stimulated phospho[3H]inositide hydrolysis 18-fold, whereas aFGF stimulated by only 30%. Agonists which initially utilize dissimilar signaling pathways may therefore converge at the level of MAPKK/MAPK and this may be relevant to the hypertrophic response of the heart.

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