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J Cell Commun Signal. 2010 Dec;4(4):173-83. doi: 10.1007/s12079-010-0104-0. Epub 2010 Nov 3.

Selective regulation of nuclear orphan receptors 4A by adenosine receptor subtypes in human mast cells.


Nuclear orphan receptors 4A (NR4A) are early responsive genes that belong to the superfamily of hormone receptors and comprise NR4A1, NR4A2 and NR4A3. They have been associated to transcriptional activation of multiple genes involved in inflammation, apoptosis and cell cycle control. Here, we establish a link between NR4As and adenosine, a paradoxical inflammatory molecule that can contribute to persistence of inflammation or mediate inflammatory shutdown. Transcriptomics screening of the human mast cell-line HMC-1 revealed a sharp induction of transcriptionally active NR4A2 and NR4A3 by the adenosine analogue NECA. The concomitant treatment of NECA and the adenosine receptor A(2A) (A(2A)AR) selective antagonist SCH-58261 exaggerated this effect, suggesting that upregulation of these factors in mast cells is mediated by other AR subtypes (A(2B) and A(3)) and that A(2A)AR activation counteracts NR4A2 and NR4A3 induction. In agreement with this, A(2A)AR-silencing amplified NR4A induction by NECA. Interestingly, a similar A(2A)AR modulatory effect was observed on ERK1/2 phosphorylation because A(2A)AR blockage exacerbated NECA-mediated phosphorylation of ERK1/2. In addition, PKC or MEK1/2 inhibition prevented ERK1/2 phosphorylation and antagonized AR-mediated induction of NR4A2 and NR4A3, suggesting the involvement of these kinases in AR to NR4A signaling. Finally, we observed that selective A(2A)AR activation with CGS-21680 blocked PMA-induced ERK1/2 phosphorylation and modulated the overexpression of functional nuclear orphan receptors 4A. Taken together, these results establish a novel PKC/ERK/nuclear orphan receptors 4A axis for adenosinergic signaling in mast cells, which can be modulated by A(2A)AR activation, not only in the context of adenosine but of other mast cell activating stimuli as well.


Adenosine; Adenosine receptor; Mast cells; Nuclear orphan receptor 4A

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