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Coupling of M(2) muscarinic receptors to ERK MAP kinases and caldesmon phosphorylation in colonic smooth muscle.

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Department of Pharmacology, University of Nevada School of Medicine, Reno, Nevada 89557-0046, USA.


Coupling of M(2) and M(3) muscarinic receptors to activation of mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases and phosphorylation of caldesmon was studied in canine colonic smooth muscle strips in which M(3) receptors were selectively inactivated by N, N-dimethyl-4-piperidinyl diphenylacetate (4-DAMP) mustard (40 nM). ACh elicited activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) 1, ERK2, and p38 MAP kinases in control muscles and increased phosphorylation of caldesmon (Ser(789)), a putative downstream target of MAP kinases. Alkylation of M(3) receptors with 4-DAMP had only a modest inhibitory effect on ERK activation, p38 MAP kinase activation, and caldesmon phosphorylation. Subsequent treatment with 1 microM AF-DX 116 completely prevented activation of ERK and p38 MAP kinase and prevented caldesmon phosphorylation. Caldesmon phosphorylation was blocked by the MAP kinase/ERK kinase inhibitor PD-98509 but not by the p38 MAP kinase inhibitor SB-203580. These results indicate that colonic smooth muscle M(2) receptors are coupled to ERK and p38 MAP kinases. Activation of ERK, but not p38 MAP kinases, results in phosphorylation of caldesmon in vivo, which is a novel function for M(2) receptor activation in smooth muscle.

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