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Cell Signal. 1994 Mar;6(3):285-97.

Activation of c-fos expression by transforming Ha-ras in HC11 mouse mammary epithelial cells is PKC-dependent and mediated by the serum response element.

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Institute of Medical Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Innsbruck, Austria.


The mechanism by which transforming Ha-ras induces c-fos expression in HC11 mouse mammary epithelial cells was investigated with regard to controversial data concerning the role of protein kinase C (PKC) and the required promoter elements of the fos gene. HC11 cells carrying a glucocorticoid-inducible Ha-ras (val12) construct were transfected with a chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) reporter gene under the control of a human fos promoter which includes the serum response element (SRE), the adjacent c-fos AP-1 site (FAP) and the cAMP response element (CRE). Induction of the Ha-ras gene by dexamethasone lead to a transactivation of expression of the transfected fos promoter construct which was inhibited by the PKC inhibitor BM41440 and abrogated in PKC-'depleted' cells. A similar transactivation was observed when the fos promoter construct was co-transfected with a constitutively active ras expression vector. Again, this effect was depressed by the PKC inhibitor and abolished in PKC-'depleted' cells. 'PKC-depletion' was achieved by long-term exposure to 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate. This procedure was shown to deplete cells of PKC alpha and to reduce significantly PKC epsilon. Long-term exposure to bryostatin 1 selectively depletes PKC alpha. Depletion of PKC alpha by bryostatin 1 does not reduce the transcriptional activation of the SRE-FAP-TK-CAT (TK: thymidine kinase) construct by Ha-ras. In order to delineate the promoter elements mediating the transcriptional activation, constructs which lack the FAP and the CRE sites but contain an intact SRE were co-transfected with the ras construct. Elimination of the FAP and CRE sequences did not affect the transcriptional activation by Ha-ras (val12). It is concluded that in HC11 cells, transforming Ha-ras activates c-fos expression in a PKC-dependent manner, presumably implying PKC epsilon, and that the SRE is sufficient to mediate transcriptional activation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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