Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-induced activation of Erk5 MAP-kinase is dependent on Mekk2, Mek1/2, PKC and PI3-kinase, and affects BMP signaling

Platelet-derived growth factor-BB (PDGF-BB) binds to its tyrosine kinase receptors (PDGFRs) and stimulates mitogenicity and survival of cells of mesenchymal origin. Activation of PDGFRs initiates a number of downstream signaling pathways, including phosphatidyl 3'-inositol kinase (PI3-kinase), phospholipase Cγ and MAP kinase pathways. In this report, we show that Erk5 MAP kinase is activated in response to PDGF-BB in the smooth muscle cell line MOVAS in a manner dependent on Mekk2, Mek1/2, Mek5, PI3-kinase and protein kinase C (PKC). The co-operation of Mek1/2 and Mekk2 in the activation of Erk5, suggests a close co-regulation between the Erk1/2 and Erk5 MAP kinase pathways. Furthermore, we found that classical PKCs are important for Erk5 activation. In addition, we found that PKCζ interacts with Erk5 and may exert a negative feed-back effect. We observed no nuclear accumulation of Erk5 in response to PDGF-BB stimulation, however, we identified a mechanism by which cytoplasmic Erk5 influences gene expression; Erk5 was essential for PDGF-BB-mediated Smad1/5/8 signaling by stimulating release and/or activation of bone morphogenetic protein(s) (BMPs). Thus, PDGF-BB-induced Erk5 activation involves parallel stimulatory and inhibitory pathways and promotes Smad1/5/8 signaling.

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