Neuregulin is a neural factor implicated in upregulation of acetylcholine receptor (AChR) synthesis at the neuromuscular junction. Previous studies have demonstrated that the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) subgroup of MAP kinases is required for neuregulin-induced AChR gene expression. We report here that the neuregulin-mediated increase in AChR ε-subunit mRNA was a delayed response in C2C12 muscle cells. Neuregulin induced expression of immediate early genes c-jun and c-fos, which followed and depended on the ERK activation. Treatment of muscle cells with cycloheximide to inhibit c-JUN synthesis at the protein level and suppression of c-JUN function by a dominant-negative mutant blocked neuregulin-induced expression of the ε-subunit gene, indicating an essential role of c-JUN in neuregulin signaling. Furthermore, neuregulin activated c-JUN N-terminal kinase (JNK) in C2C12 muscle cells. Blockade of JNK activation by overexpressing dominant-negative MKK4 inhibited ε-promoter activation. Moreover, overexpression of the JNK dominant-negative mutant inhibited neuregulin-mediated expression of the ε-transgene and endogenous ε-mRNA. Taken together, our results demonstrate important roles of c-JUN and JNK in neuregulin-mediated expression of the AChR ε-subunit gene and suggest that neuregulin activates multiple signaling cascades that converge to regulate AChR ε-subunit gene expression.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Journal of Neuroscience|
|State||Published - Oct 1 1999|
- Immediate early gene
- Neuromuscular junction
ASJC Scopus subject areas