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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Potentiation of oncogenic N-ras- induced neurite outgrowth and ornithine decarboxylase activity by phorbol dibutyrate and protein kinase inhibitor H-8.

A recombinant N-ras oncogene, under the transcriptional control of a corticosteroid-inducible mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV) promoter, has been stably transfected into a PC12 rat pheochromocytoma subline. This cell line, designated UR61, undergoes N-ras-induced neurite outgrowth and cessation of division when treated with dexamethasone (Guerrero et al.: Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 150:1185-1192, 1988). We have employed the UR61 cell line as a model for ras oncogene-induced neuronal differentiation. In UR61 cells, dexamethasone-induced expression of the recombinant N-ras gene resulted in time-dependent expression of ornithine decarboxylase enzyme (ODC) activity. Prompted by recent reports of possible functional (Lacal et al.: Molecular and Cellular Biology 7:4146-4149, 1987; Wolfman and Macara: Nature 325: 359-361, 1987) and direct (Jeng et al.: Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 145:782-788, 1987) interactions between oncogene ras-coded p21 and protein kinase C (PK-C; Ca++/phospholipid-dependent protein kinase), we employed the protein kinase inhibitor H-8 (N-[2-(methylamino)ethyl]-5-isoquinoline sulfonamide dihydrochloride) and phorbol 12,13-dibutyrate (PDBu) to investigate this putative interaction in the UR61 cells, where ODC activity and neurite outgrowth were used as indicators of oncogenic N-ras action. Treatment of UR61 cells with PDBu depleted cells of PK-C and failed to promote neurite outgrowth but enhanced N-ras- induced neurite outgrowth and ODC activity. H-8, which suppressed ODC induction by forskolin and phorbol myristate acetate, enhanced both N-ras- induced ODC activity and neurite outgrowth. Inhibition of ODC activity by difluoromethylornithine (DFMO) did not suppress oncogenic ras-induced neurite outgrowth, suggesting that these two ras-triggered events are mechanistically independent. These findings suggest that certain actions of N-ras can occur in cells depleted of PK-C, and thus, the role of PK-C in ras-induced differentiation differs from its role in ras-induced mitogenesis and transformation.[1]


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