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Mol Cell Biol. 2006 Apr;26(8):3039-47.

Cyclic AMP selectively uncouples mitogen-activated protein kinase cascades from activating signals.

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Department of Pharmacology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 6001 Forest Park Road, Dallas, TX 75390-9041, USA.


Cells integrate signals to select the appropriate response from an array of possible outcomes. Signal integration causes the reorganization of signaling pathways by undescribed events. To analyze the molecular changes in signaling pathways that elicit different responses, we focused on the interaction between cyclic AMP (cAMP) and growth factors. We show that the activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 5 (ERK5), but not ERK1/2, by growth factors is disrupted by cAMP through cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA). Activation of MEKK2, a mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase kinase kinase upstream of ERK5 that is required for growth factor activation of ERK5, is also disrupted by PKA. Transcription of c-Jun is induced by ERK5, and like ERK5, c-Jun induction is also blocked by cAMP. Transcription from the serum response element, like activation of ERK1/2, is not blocked by cAMP. Collectively, these results support a model in which cAMP shapes the growth factor-induced cellular response through PKA-dependent uncoupling of selected MAP kinase cascades from activating signals.

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