Angiotensin II type 1 receptor-induced extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase activation is mediated by Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent transactivation of epidermal growth factor receptor

S Murasawa, Y Mori, Y Nozawa, N Gotoh, M Shibuya, H Masaki, K Maruyama, Y Tsutsumi, Y Moriguchi, Y Shibazaki, Y Tanaka, T Iwasaka, M Inada, H Matsubara
Circulation Research 1998 June 29, 82 (12): 1338-48
The signaling cascade elicited by angiotensin II (Ang II) resembles that characteristic of growth factor stimulation, and recent evidence suggests that G protein-coupled receptors transactivate growth factor receptors to transmit mitogenic effects. In the present study, we report the involvement of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGF-R) in Ang II-induced extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) activation, c-fos gene expression, and DNA synthesis in cardiac fibroblasts. Ang II induced a rapid tyrosine phosphorylation of EGF-R in association with phosphorylation of Shc protein and ERK activation. Specific inhibition of EGF-R function by either a dominant-negative EGF-R mutant or selective tyrphostin AG1478 completely abolished Ang II-induced ERK activation. Induction of c-fos gene expression and DNA synthesis were also abolished by the inhibition of EGF-R function. Calmodulin or tyrosine kinase inhibitors, but not protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitors or downregulation of PKC, completely abolished transactivation of EGF-R by Ang II or the Ca2+ ionophore A23187. Epidermal growth factor (EGF) activity in concentrated supernatant from Ang II-treated cells was not detected, and saturation of culture media with anti-EGF antibody did not affect the Ang II-induced transactivation of EGF-R. Conditioned media in which cells were incubated with Ang II could not induce phosphorylation of EGF-R on recipient cells. Platelet-derived growth factor-beta receptor was not phosphorylated on Ang II stimulation, and Ang II-induced c-jun gene expression was not affected by tyrphostin AG1478. Our results demonstrated that in cardiac fibroblasts Ang II-induced ERK activation and its mitogenic signals are dominantly mediated by EGF-R transactivated in a Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent manner and suggested that the effects of Ang II on cardiac fibroblasts should be interpreted in association with the signaling pathways regulating cellular proliferation and/or differentiation by growth factors.

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