The renal cell line mIMCD3 exhibits markedly upregulated phosphorylation of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) 1 and 2 in response to urea treatment (200 mM for 5 min). Previous data have suggested the involvement of a classical protein kinase C (cPKC)-dependent pathway in downstream events related to urea signaling. We now show that urea-inducible ERK activation requires extracellular calcium; unexpectedly, it occurs independently of activation of cPKC isoforms. Pharmacological inhibitors of known intracellular calcium release pathways and extracellular calcium entry pathways fail to inhibit ERK activation by urea. Fura 2 ratiometry was used to assess the effect of urea treatment on intracellular calcium mobilization. In single-cell analyses using subconfluent monolayers and in population-wide analyses using both confluent monolayers and cells in suspension, urea failed to increase intracellular calcium concentration. Taken together, these data indicate that urea-inducible ERK activation requires calcium action but not calcium entry. Although direct evidence is lacking, one possible explanation could include involvement of a calcium-dependent extracellular moiety of a cell surface-associated protein.
- Fura 2
- Inner medullary collecting duct
- Madin-Darby canine kidney
- Protein kinase C
ASJC Scopus subject areas