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Sci STKE. 2007 Apr 17;2007(382):pe15.

Regulation of PC12 cell differentiation by cAMP signaling to ERK independent of PKA: do all the connections add up?

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Section on Molecular Neuroscience, Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Regulation, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) is a neuropeptide that elevates adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate (cyclic AMP, also abbreviated cAMP) to elicit neuritogenesis in PC12 cells. This effect appears to be independent of cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) yet dependent on cAMP, leading to the conclusion that another cAMP-binding protein and subsequent signaling pathway must exist to mediate this PKA-independent signaling mechanism. Such a protein was identified as exchange protein directly activated by cAMP (EPAC). Although EPAC may play an indirect role in PACAP-mediated neuritogenesis, it does not serve as the only PKA-independent link from cAMP that leads to neuritogenesis. Thus, the challenge remains to construct a signaling network that incorporates the known mediators, working independently of PKA, that are ultimately responsible for PACAP-mediated neuritogenesis.

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