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J Biol Chem. 2002 Oct 11;277(41):38635-46. Epub 2002 Aug 7.

Receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) signaling induces CREB-dependent chromogranin expression during neuronal differentiation.

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Programme of Molecular Neurobiology, Institute of Biotechnology and the Department of Biosciences, University of Helsinki, Helsinki FIN-00014, Finland.


Receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) mediates neurite outgrowth and cell migration upon stimulation with its ligand, amphoterin. We show here that RAGE-dependent changes in cell morphology are associated with proliferation arrest and changes in gene expression in neuroblastoma cells. Chromogranin B, a component of secretory vesicles in endocrine cells and neurons, was found to be up-regulated by RAGE signaling during differentiation of neuroblastoma cells along with the two other members of the chromogranin family, chromogranin A and secretogranin II. Ligation of RAGE by amphoterin lead to rapid phosphorylation and nuclear localization of cyclic AMP response element-binding protein (CREB), a major regulator of chromogranin expression. Furthermore, inhibition of ERK1/2-Rsk2-dependent CREB phosphorylation efficiently inhibited up-regulation of chromogranin gene expression upon RAGE activation. To further study the effects of RAGE and amphoterin on cellular differentiation, we stimulated embryonic stem cells expressing RAGE or a signaling-deficient mutant of RAGE with amphoterin. Amphoterin was found to promote RAGE-dependent neuronal differentiation of embryonic stem cells characterized by up-regulation of neuronal markers light neurofilament protein and beta-III-tubulin, activation of CREB, and increased expression of chromogranins A and B. These data suggest that RAGE signaling is capable of driving neuronal differentiation involving CREB activation and induction of chromogranin expression.

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