Calcium and cAMP signals differentially regulate cAMP-responsive element-binding protein function via a Rap-1-extracellular signal-regulated kinase pathway

Savraj S. Grewal, Daniel M. Fass, Hong Yao, Cindy L. Ellig, Richard Goodman, Philip Stork

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112 Scopus citations


Two major intracellular signals that regulate neuronal function are calcium and cAMP. In many cases, the actions of these two second messengers involve long term changes in gene expression. One well studied target of both calcium and cAMP signaling is the transcription factor cAMP-responsive element-binding protein (CREB). Multiple signaling pathways have been shown to contribute to the regulation of CREB-dependent transcription, including both protein kinase A (PKA)- and mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)-dependent kinase cascades. We have previously described a mechanism by which cAMP and calcium influx may stimulate ERKs in neuronal cells. This pathway involves the PKA-dependent activation of the Ras-related small G-protein, Rap1, and subsequent stimulation of the neuronal Raf isoform, B-Raf. In this study, we examined the contribution of the Rap1-ERK pathway to the control of gene transcription by calcium influx and cAMP. Using the PC12 cell model system, we found that both calcium influx and cAMP stimulated CREB-dependent transcription via a Rap1-ERK pathway, but this regulation occurred through distinct mechanisms. Calcium-mediated phosphorylation of CREB through the PKA-Rap1-ERK pathway. In contrast, cAMP phosphorylated CREB via PKA directly but required a Rap1-ERK pathway to activate a component downstream of CREB phosphorylation and CREB-binding protein recruitment. These data suggest that the Rap1/B-Raf signaling pathway may have an important role in the regulation of CREB-dependent gene expression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34433-34441
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number44
Publication statusPublished - Nov 3 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry

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