Send to

Choose Destination
J Biol Chem. 2010 Jul 30;285(31):24248-59. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M109.094581. Epub 2010 Jun 1.

Differential roles of Epac in regulating cell death in neuronal and myocardial cells.

Author information

Cardiovascular Research Institute, Yokohama City University Graduate School of Medicine, Yokohama 236-0004, Japan.


Cell survival and death play critical roles in tissues composed of post-mitotic cells. Cyclic AMP (cAMP) has been known to exert a distinct effect on cell susceptibility to apoptosis, protecting neuronal cells and deteriorating myocardial cells. These effects are primarily studied using protein kinase A activation. In this study we show the differential roles of Epac, an exchange protein activated by cAMP and a new effector molecule of cAMP signaling, in regulating apoptosis in these cell types. Both stimulation of Epac by 8-p-methoxyphenylthon-2'-O-methyl-cAMP and overexpression of Epac significantly increased DNA fragmentation and TUNEL (terminal deoxynucleotidyltransferase-mediated biotin nick end-labeling)-positive cell counts in mouse cortical neurons but not in cardiac myocytes. In contrast, stimulation of protein kinase A increased apoptosis in cardiac myocytes but not in neuronal cells. In cortical neurons the expression of the Bcl-2 interacting member protein (Bim) was increased by stimulation of Epac at the transcriptional level and was decreased in mice with genetic disruption of Epac1. Epac-induced neuronal apoptosis was attenuated by the silencing of Bim. Furthermore, Epac1 disruption in vivo abolished the 3-nitropropionic acid-induced neuronal apoptosis that occurs in wild-type mice. These results suggest that Epac induces neuron-specific apoptosis through increasing Bim expression. Because the disruption of Epac exerted a protective effect on neuronal apoptosis in vivo, the inhibition of Epac may be a consideration in designing a therapeutic strategy for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center