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PLoS One. 2016 Jan 27;11(1):e0147103. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0147103. eCollection 2016.

Phosphorylation and Activation of RhoA by ERK in Response to Epidermal Growth Factor Stimulation.

Tong J1,2, Li L3,2, Ballermann B3,2, Wang Z1,2.

Author information

1
Department of Medical Genetics, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2H7, Canada.
2
Signal Transduction Research Group, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2H7, Canada.
3
Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2H7, Canada.

Abstract

The small GTPase RhoA has been implicated in various cellular activities, including the formation of stress fibers, cell motility, and cytokinesis. In addition to the canonical GTPase cycle, recent findings have suggested that phosphorylation further contributes to the tight regulation of Rho GTPases. Indeed, RhoA is phosphorylated on serine 188 (188S) by a number of protein kinases. We have recently reported that Rac1 is phosphorylated on threonine 108 (108T) by extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK) in response to epidermal growth factor (EGF) stimulation. Here, we provide evidence that RhoA is phosphorylated by ERK on 88S and 100T in response to EGF stimulation. We show that ERK interacts with RhoA and that this interaction is dependent on the ERK docking site (D-site) at the C-terminus of RhoA. EGF stimulation enhanced the activation of the endogenous RhoA. The phosphomimetic mutant, GFP-RhoA S88E/T100E, when transiently expressed in COS-7 cells, displayed higher GTP-binding than wild type RhoA. Moreover, the expression of GFP-RhoA S88E/T100E increased actin stress fiber formation in COS-7 cells, which is consistent with its higher activity. In contrast to Rac1, phosphorylation of RhoA by ERK does not target RhoA to the nucleus. Finally, we show that regardless of the phosphorylation status of RhoA and Rac1, substitution of the RhoA PBR with the Rac1 PBR targets RhoA to the nucleus and substitution of Rac1 PBR with RhoA PBR significantly reduces the nuclear localization of Rac1. In conclusion, ERK phosphorylates RhoA on 88S and 100T in response to EGF, which upregulates RhoA activity.

PMID:
26816343
PMCID:
PMC4729484
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0147103
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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