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  • MAPK signaling triggers transcriptional induction of cFOS during amino acid limitation of HepG2 cells.

MAPK signaling triggers transcriptional induction of cFOS during amino acid limitation of HepG2 cells.

Biochimica et biophysica acta (2014-12-20)
Jixiu Shan, William Donelan, Jaclyn N Hayner, Fan Zhang, Elizabeth E Dudenhausen, Michael S Kilberg

Amino acid (AA) deprivation in mammalian cells activates a collection of signaling cascades known as the AA response (AAR), which is characterized by transcriptional induction of stress-related genes, including FBJ murine osteosarcoma viral oncogene homolog (cFOS). The present study established that the signaling mechanism underlying the AA-dependent transcriptional regulation of the cFOS gene in HepG2 human hepatocellular carcinoma cells is independent of the classic GCN2-eIF2-ATF4 pathway. Instead, a RAS-RAF-MEK-ERK cascade mediates AAR signaling to the cFOS gene. Increased cFOS transcription is observed from 4-24 h after AAR-activation, exhibiting little or no overlap with the rapid and transient increase triggered by the well-known serum response. Furthermore, serum is not required for the AA-responsiveness of the cFOS gene and no phosphorylation of promoter-bound serum response factor (SRF) is observed. The ERK-phosphorylated transcription factor E-twenty six-like (p-ELK1) is increased in its association with the cFOS promoter after activation of the AAR. This research identified cFOS as a target of the AAR and further highlights the importance of AA-responsive MAPK signaling in HepG2 cells.

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