STAT3-mediated coincidence detection regulates noncanonical immediate early gene induction.
Signaling pathways interact with one another to form dynamic networks in which the cellular response to one stimulus may depend on the presence, intensity, timing, or localization of other signals. In rare cases, two stimuli may be simultaneously required for cells to elicit a significant biological output. This phenomenon, generally termed "coincidence detection," requires a downstream signaling node that functions as a Boolean AND gate to restrict biological output from a network unless multiple stimuli are received within a specific window of time. Simultaneous activation of the EGF receptor (EGFR) and a thrombin receptor (protease-activated receptor-1, PAR-1) increases the expression of multiple immediate early genes (IEGs) associated with growth and angiogenesis. Using a bioinformatic comparison of IEG promoter regions, we identified STAT3 as a critical transcription factor for the detection of coincident EGFR/PAR-1 activation. EGFR activation induces classical STAT3 Tyr(705) phosphorylation but also initiates an inhibitory signal through the PI3K-AKT signaling axis that prevents STAT3 Ser(727) phosphorylation. Coincident PAR-1 signaling resolves these conflicting EGF-activated pathways by blocking AKT activation and permitting GSK-3α/β-dependent STAT3 Ser(727) phosphorylation and STAT3-dependent gene expression. Functionally, combinatorial EGFR/PAR-1 signaling suppresses EGF-induced proliferation and thrombin-induced leukocyte adhesion and triggers a STAT3-dependent increase in endothelial cell migration. This study reveals a novel signaling role for STAT3 in which the simultaneous presence of extracellular EGF and thrombin is detected at the level of STAT3 post-translational modifications. Collectively, our results describe a novel regulatory mechanism in which combinatorial EGFR/PAR-1 signaling regulates STAT3-dependent IEG induction and endothelial cell migration.
Waitkus, MS; Chandrasekharan, UM; Willard, B; Haque, SJ; DiCorleto, PE
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