Identifying signaling differences between GPCR-induced growth factor receptor transactivation and direct ligand activation
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Growth factor receptors have significant effects on various normal function of body such as cell proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis. They are also involved in neuronal function and dysfunction, cardiovascular diseases, and malignancies. Recently, multiple G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) have been shown to transactivate receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs). Since both classes of receptors have complicated downstream cascades individually, understanding the signaling differences between GPCR-induced growth factor receptor transactivation and direct ligand activation is an important challenge. To clarifying this phenomenon we investigated the phosphorylation profile and downstream effectors of ligand-activated vs. transactivated PDGFβ receptors. Dopamine receptors (one of the receptors of the GPCRs family) were used to compare the PDGFβ receptor phosphorylation and activity during direct activation and transactivation. Dose-response and time-course data between these two stimuli were evaluated. Furthermore, the phosphorylation site profiles and the intracellular signaling pathways of PDGFβ receptor after direct activation and transactivation were examined. In addition, possible synergic effects between transactivation and direct activation were explored. The results of this project showed that the phosphorylation profile and downstream effectors of ligand activated receptors versus transactivated receptors are different. Our data indicated that transactivation-induced pathways are more involved in survival and proliferation effects compared to ligand activation. This research answered basic questions about transactivation phenomena and proposes that these transactivation pathways could be exploited as a therapeutic approach for neurodegenerative diseases.
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