Coordinate regulation of forskolin-induced cellular proliferation in macrophages by protein kinase A/cAMP-response element-binding protein (CREB) and Epac1-Rap1 signaling: effects of silencing CREB gene expression on Akt activation.
In this study, we have examined the role of two cAMP downstream effectors protein kinase A (PKA) and Epac, in forskolin-induced macrophage proliferation. Treatment of macrophages with forskolin enhanced [(3)H]thymidine uptake and increased cell number, and both were profoundly reduced by prior treatment of cells with H-89, a specific PKA inhibitor. Incubation of macrophages with forskolin triggered the activation of Akt, predominantly by phosphorylation of Ser-473, as measured by Western blotting and assay of its kinase activity. Akt activation was significantly inhibited by LY294002 and wortmannin, specific inhibitors of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, but not by H-89. Incubation of macrophages with forskolin also increased Epac1 and Rap1.GTP. Immunoprecipitation of Epac1 in forskolin-stimulated cells co-immunoprecipitated Rap1, p-Akt(Thr-308), and p-Akt(Ser-473). Silencing of CREB gene expression by RNA interference prior to forskolin treatment not only decreased CREB protein and its phosphorylation at Ser-133, but also phosphorylation of Akt at Ser-473, and Thr-308. Concomitantly, this treatment inhibited [(3)H]thymidine uptake and reduced forskolin-induced proliferation of macrophages. Forskolin treatment also inhibited activation of the apoptotic mechanism while promoting up-regulation of the anti-apoptotic pathway. We conclude that forskolin mediates cellular proliferation via cAMP-dependent activation of both PKA and Epac.
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