Two tumor promoters, 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate and thapsigargin, act synergistically via distinct signaling pathways to stimulate gene expression.

P. Lenormand, L. L. Muldoon, H. Enslen, K. D. Rodland, B. E. Magun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

The transcriptionally active RVL3-VL30 element contains a triple repeat of TGACTCC, a sequence nearly identical to the AP-1 binding site. However, 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) stimulation was unable to elicit chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) expression from a construct containing these AP-1-like sequences upstream of the thymidine kinase promoter present in pTES. Endothelin, which activates protein kinase C (pkC) and elevates intracellular Ca2+ in Rat-1 cells, was effective in stimulating CAT expression from the VL30-pTES construct. We attempted to assess the relative importance of these second messenger systems by stimulating each pathway separately with exogenous agonists. We determined that neither stimulation of pkC by the tumor promoter TPA nor elevation of intracellular Ca2+ by the tumor promoter thapsigargin was sufficient to stimulate CAT expression from the VL30-pTES vector. When combined, the two tumor promoters induced a synergistic increase in CAT expression. Our data indicate that elevation of intracellular Ca2+ by thapsigargin was not required for full activation of pkC by TPA. First, TPA was able to stimulate expression of other genes in Rat-1 cells, indicating full activation of pkC. Second, thapsigargin synergized effectively with epidermal growth factor to stimulate CAT activity from the VL30-pTES construct in cells depleted of pkC activity by chronic TPA treatment. The permissive effects of thapsigargin on gene expression were also observed for an endogenous gene, transin/stromelysin. The permissive effects of elevated intracellular Ca2+ levels may represent a general mechanism for the stimulation of some genes by pkC-mediated pathways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)627-635
Number of pages9
JournalCell growth & differentiation : the molecular biology journal of the American Association for Cancer Research
Volume1
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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