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J Endocrinol. 2000 Oct;167(1):93-105.

Sustained activation of Erk1/2 MAPK and cell growth suppression by the insert-negative, but not the insert-positive isoform of the human calcitonin receptor.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedics and Trauma, University of Adelaide, The Royal Adelaide Hospital, Adelaide 5000, South Australia, Australia.


Recently we reported that calcitonin (CT) induces growth arrest at the G2 stage of the cell cycle in HEK-293 cell lines expressing the most abundant, insert-negative, isoform of the human CT receptor (insert -ve hCTR). The present study investigates the involvement of the MAPK signalling pathway in the anti-proliferative actions of CT and compares the activity of an isoform of the hCTR that contains a 16 amino acid insert in the first putative intracellular loop (insert +ve hCTR). Comparison of HEK-293 cells stably transfected with the insert -ve or the insert +ve hCTR, showed that accumulation of cAMP and intracellular free calcium in response to CT were specific for the insert -ve receptor isoform. However, a novel acidification of the extracellular medium was mediated by both isoforms. Treatment with CT of cells expressing the insert -ve hCTR, caused a decrease in cell growth associated with an induction of p21(WAF1/CIP1). Analysis by fluorescence-activated cell scanning showed that growth inhibition was associated with an accumulation of cells in G2. CT treatment of cells expressing the insert -ve, but not insert +ve hCTR, induced the phosphorylation of Erk1/2 MAPK, which persisted for at least 72 h. Treatment of cells expressing the insert -ve hCTR with the MAPK kinase (MEK) inhibitor, PD-98059, inhibited the phosphorylation of Erk1/2 and abrogated the growth inhibitory effects of salmon CT, the accumulation of cells in G2, and the associated induction of p21(WAF1/CIP1). These data suggest that activation of Erk1/2 are downstream effectors of the insert -ve hCTR in modulating cell cycle progression.

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