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Cell Signal. 2007 Jun;19(6):1221-8. Epub 2007 Jan 21.

Novel mechanism of cyclic AMP mediated extracellular signal regulated kinase activation in an intestinal cell line.

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Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio, 45229, United States.


The extracellular signal regulated kinase (ERK1/2) signaling cascade has been implicated as both a pro-apoptotic and anti-apoptotic pathway depending on cell type and context. In the T84 intestinal epithelial cell line, cAMP activates ERK1/2 resulting in the inhibition of apoptosis. Cyclic-AMP signaling relies on the binding and activation of a cAMP binding protein. In most cell types, the majority of this signaling occurs through an isoform of protein kinase A (PKAI or PKAII). Despite evidence to the contrary, we hypothesized that ERK1/2 activation is through a PKA isoform. Pharmacological activators and inhibitors of PKA as well as siRNA were used to further interrogate this potential signaling pathway. Our results demonstrate that at doses sufficient to increase PKA activity, PKAII specific cAMP analogs activate ERK1/2 while PKAI analogs do not. Pharmacological inhibition of the PKAII regulatory subunit and catalytic subunit as well as siRNA knockdown of the catalytic subunit blocks ERK1/2 activation. We conclude that in the T84 cell line, cAMP binding to the PKAII regulatory subunit leads to the subsequent phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and provides insight into the mechanism of cAMP mediated survival signaling in the intestinal epithelium. These results directly implicate PKAII as a mediator of cell survival in T84 cells and provide evidence for an additional means by which cAMP can influence intestinal cell turnover.

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