Signaling pathways activated by PACAP in MCF-7 breast cancer cells
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PACAP has opposing roles ranging from activation to inhibition of tumor growth and PACAP agonists/antagonists could be used in tumor therapy. In this study, the effect of PACAP stimulation on signaling pathways was investigated in MCF-7 human adenocarcinoma breast cancer cells. Results showed that MCF-7 cells express VPAC1 and VPAC2, but not PAC1, receptors. In addition, PACAP increased the phosphorylation levels of STAT1, Src and Raf within seconds, confirming their involvement in early stages of PACAP signaling whereas maximal phosphorylation of AKT, ERK and p38 was reached 10 to 20 min later. Moreover, selective inhibition of Src or PI3K resulted in a significant decrease in the phosphorylation of ERK and AKT, but not p38, demonstrating that PACAP signaling follows Src/Raf/ERK and PI3K/AKT pathways. On the other hand, selective inhibition of PLC or PKA resulted in a significant decrease in the phosphorylation of p38, but not AKT or ERK, indicating that PACAP signaling also follows the PLC and PKA/cAMP pathways. Furthermore, PACAP induced ROS through H?O? production whereas pretreatment with NAC inhibitor decreased AKT and ERK phosphorylation, but not p38. Selective NOX2 inhibition affected Src/Raf/Erk and PI3K/Akt pathways, without affecting the p38/PLC/PKA pathway whereas other inhibitors (ML171, VAS2870) had no effect on PACAP induced ROS generation. On the other hand, PACAP induced calcium release, which was decreased by pretreatment with PLC inhibitor. Finally, PACAP stimulation promoted apoptosis by increasing Bax and decreasing Bcl2 expression. In conclusion, we demonstrated that PACAP signaling in MCF-7 cells follows the Src/Raf/ERK and PI3K/AKT pathways and is VPAC1 dependent in a ROS dependent manner, whereas it follows PLC and PKA/cAMP pathways and is VPAC2 dependent through p38 MAP kinase activation involving calcium.
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