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Cell Signal. 2010 Oct;22(10):1459-68. doi: 10.1016/j.cellsig.2010.05.014. Epub 2010 May 27.

Epac activation induces histone deacetylase nuclear export via a Ras-dependent signalling pathway.

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Inserm, UMR-S 769, Signalisation et Physiopathologie Cardiaque, Châtenay-Malabry, France.


Epac (Exchange protein directly activated by cAMP) is a sensor for cAMP and represents a novel mechanism for governing cAMP signalling. Epac is a guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) for the Ras family of small GTPases, Rap. Previous studies demonstrated that, in response to a prolonged beta-adrenergic stimulation Epac induced cardiac myocyte hypertrophy. The aim of our study was to further characterize Epac downstream effectors involved in cardiac myocyte growth. Here, we found that Epac led to the activation of the small G protein H-Ras in primary neonatal cardiac myocytes. A Rap GTPase activating protein (RapGAP) partially inhibited Epac-induced H-Ras activation. Interestingly, we found that H-Ras activation involved the GEF domain of Epac. However, Epac did not directly induce exchange activity on this small GTPase protein. Instead, the effect of Epac on H-Ras activation was dependent on a signalling cascade involving phospholipase C (PLC)/inositol 1,3,5 triphosphate receptor (IP3R) and an increase intracellular calcium. In addition, we found that Epac activation induced histone deacetylase type 4 (HDAC4) translocation. Whereas HDAC5 alone was unresponsive to Epac, it became responsive to Epac in the presence of HDAC4 in COS cells. Consistent with its effect on HDAC cytoplasmic shuttle, Epac activation also increased the prohypertrophic transcription factor MEF2 in a CaMKII dependent manner in primary cardiac myocytes. Thus, our data show that Epac activates a prohypertrophic signalling pathway which involves PLC, H-Ras, CaMKII and HDAC nuclear export.

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