In response to peripheral nerve injury, Schwann cells adopt a migratory phenotype and modify the extracellular matrix to make it permissive for cell migration and axonal re-growth. Uridine 5'-triphosphate (UTP) and other nucleotides are released during nerve injury and activate purinergic receptors expressed on the Schwann cell surface, but little is known about the involvement of purine signalling in wound healing. We studied the effect of UTP on Schwannoma cell migration and wound closure and the intracellular signaling pathways involved. We found that UTP treatment induced Schwannoma cell migration through activation of P2Y2 receptors and through the increase of extracellular matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) activation and expression. Knockdown P2Y2 receptor or MMP-2 expression greatly reduced wound closure and MMP-2 activation induced by UTP. MMP-2 activation evoked by injury or UTP was also mediated by phosphorylation of all 3 major mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs): JNK, ERK1/2, and p38. Inhibition of these MAPK pathways decreased both MMP-2 activation and cell migration. Interestingly, MAPK phosphorylation evoked by UTP exhibited a biphasic pattern, with an early transient phosphorylation 5 min after treatment, and a late and sustained phosphorylation that appeared at 6 h and lasted up to 24 h. Inhibition of MMP-2 activity selectively blocked the late, but not the transient, phase of MAPK activation. These results suggest that MMP-2 activation and late MAPK phosphorylation are part of a positive feedback mechanism to maintain the migratory phenotype for wound healing. In conclusion, our findings show that treatment with UTP stimulates in vitro Schwannoma cell migration and wound repair through a MMP-2-dependent mechanism via P2Y2 receptors and MAPK pathway activation.
Ryk pseudokinase receptors act as important transducers of Wnt signals, particularly in the nervous system. Little is known, however, of their interactions at the cell surface. Here, we show that a Drosophila Ryk family member, DERAILED (DRL), forms cell surface homodimers and can also heterodimerize with the two other fly Ryks, DERAILED-2 and DOUGHNUT ON 2. DERAILED homodimerization levels increase significantly in the presence of its ligand, WNT5. In addition, DERAILED displays ligand-independent dimerization mediated by a motif in its transmembrane domain. Increased dimerization of DRL upon WNT5 binding or upon the replacement of DERAILEDs extracellular domain with the immunoglobulin Fc domain results in an increased recruitment of the Src family kinase SRC64B, a previously identified downstream pathway effector. Formation of the SRC64B/DERAILED complex requires SRC64Bs SH2 domain and DERAILEDs PDZ-binding motif. Mutations in DERAILEDs inactive tyrosine kinase-homologous domain also disrupt the formation of DERAILED/SRC64B complexes, indicating that its conformation is likely important in facilitating its interaction with SRC64B. Finally, we show that DERAILEDs function during embryonic axon guidance requires its Wnt-binding domain, a putative juxtamembrane extracellular tetrabasic cleavage site, and the PDZ-binding domain, indicating that DERAILEDs activation involves a complex set of events including both dimerization and proteolytic processing.
Glial cells in the peripheral nervous system, such as Schwann cells, respond to nucleotides, which play an important role in axonal regeneration and myelination. Metabotropic P2Y receptor agonists are promising therapeutic molecules for peripheral neuropathies. Nevertheless, the proteomic mechanisms involved in nucleotide action on Schwann cells remain unknown. Here, we studied intracellular protein changes in RT4-D6P2T Schwann cells after treatment with nucleotides and Nucleo CMP Forte (CMPF), a nucleotide-based drug. After treatment with CMPF, 2-D DIGE revealed 11 differential gel spots, which were all upregulated. Among these, six different proteins were identified by MS. Some of these proteins are involved in actin remodelling (actin-related protein, Arp3), membrane vesicle transport (Rab GDP dissociation inhibitor ?, Rab GDI), and the endoplasmic reticulum stress response (protein disulfide isomerase A3, PDI), which are hallmarks of a possible P2Y receptor signalling pathway. Expression of P2Y receptors in RT4-D6P2T cells was demonstrated by RT-PCR and a transient elevation of intracellular calcium measured in response to UTP. Actin reorganisation was visualized after UTP treatment using phalloidin-FITC staining and was blocked by the P2Y antagonist suramin, which also inhibited Arp3, Rab GDI, and PDI protein upregulation. Our data indicate that extracellular UTP interacts with Schwann P2Y receptors and activates molecular machinery that induces changes in the glial cell cytoskeleton.
Ultrasensitivity, hysteresis (a form of biochemical memory), and all-or-none (digital) responses are important signaling properties for the control of irreversible processes and are well characterized in the c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) system using Xenopus oocytes. Our aim was to study these properties in the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) signaling system under stress conditions that could engage a cell death program, and compare them to the JNK responses. After characterization of Xenopus AMPK, we show here that the response to antimycin (nonapoptotic) was slightly cooperative and graded (analog) in individual oocytes, whereas the response to sorbitol (which induced cytochrome c release and caspase activation) was ultrasensitive, digital in single cells, and without hysteresis, hallmarks of a monostable system. Moreover, initial graded responses of AMPK and JNK turned into digital during a critical period for the execution of the cell death program, although single cell analysis did not show complete correlation between AMPK or JNK activation and cytochrome c release. We propose a model where the life or death decision in the cell is made by integration of multiple digital signals from stress sensors.
Schwann cells (SCs) are peripheral myelinating glial cells that express the neuronal Ca(2+)-dependent cell adhesion molecule, neural cadherin (N-cadherin). N-cadherin is involved in glia-glia and axon-glia interactions and participates in many key events, which range from the control of axonal growth and guidance to synapse formation and plasticity. Extracellular UTP activates P2Y purinergic receptors and exerts short- and long-term effects on several tissues to promote wound healing. Nevertheless, the contribution of P2Y receptors in peripheral nervous system functions is not completely understood. The current study demonstrated that UTP induced a dose- and time-dependent increase in N-cadherin expression in SCs. Furthermore, N-cadherin expression was blocked by the P2 purinoceptor antagonist suramin. The increased N-cadherin expression induced by UTP was mediated by phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), such as Jun N-terminal kinase, extracellular-regulated kinase and p38 kinase. Moreover, the Rho kinase inhibitor Y27632, the phospholipase C inhibitor U73122 and the protein kinase C inhibitor calphostin C attenuated the UTP-induced activation of MAPKs significantly. Extracellular UTP also modulated increased in the expression of the early transcription factors c-Fos and c-Jun. We also demonstrated that the region of the N-cadherin promoter between nucleotide positions -3698 and -2620, which contained one activator protein-1-binding site, was necessary for UTP-induced gene expression. These results suggest a novel role for P2Y purinergic receptors in the regulation of N-cadherin expression in SCs.
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