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  • Author: A Evdokiou x
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LJ Raggatt, A Evdokiou, and DM Findlay

Recently we reported that calcitonin (CT) induces growth arrest at the G2 stage of the cell cycle in HEK-293 cell lines expressing the most abundant, insert-negative, isoform of the human CT receptor (insert -ve hCTR). The present study investigates the involvement of the MAPK signalling pathway in the anti-proliferative actions of CT and compares the activity of an isoform of the hCTR that contains a 16 amino acid insert in the first putative intracellular loop (insert +ve hCTR). Comparison of HEK-293 cells stably transfected with the insert -ve or the insert +ve hCTR, showed that accumulation of cAMP and intracellular free calcium in response to CT were specific for the insert -ve receptor isoform. However, a novel acidification of the extracellular medium was mediated by both isoforms. Treatment with CT of cells expressing the insert -ve hCTR, caused a decrease in cell growth associated with an induction of p21(WAF1/CIP1). Analysis by fluorescence-activated cell scanning showed that growth inhibition was associated with an accumulation of cells in G2. CT treatment of cells expressing the insert -ve, but not insert +ve hCTR, induced the phosphorylation of Erk1/2 MAPK, which persisted for at least 72 h. Treatment of cells expressing the insert -ve hCTR with the MAPK kinase (MEK) inhibitor, PD-98059, inhibited the phosphorylation of Erk1/2 and abrogated the growth inhibitory effects of salmon CT, the accumulation of cells in G2, and the associated induction of p21(WAF1/CIP1). These data suggest that activation of Erk1/2 are downstream effectors of the insert -ve hCTR in modulating cell cycle progression.

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DM Findlay, LJ Raggatt, S Bouralexis, S Hay, GJ Atkins, and A Evdokiou

We recently reported that calcitonin (CT) can profoundly inhibit the growth of HEK-293 cells transfected with the human calcitonin receptor (hCTR). We also obtained preliminary evidence that suggested a role for CT in cell survival, and in the present study we have investigated the pro-apoptotic action of CT, which we observe in conditions of low serum concentration. Under these conditions, we have found that CT treatment of HEK-293 cells stably transfected with the insert-negative form of the human CTR (HR12 cells) caused a time-dependent decrease in cell number associated with loss of cellular attachment. Loss of cellular adherence in CT-treated cultures caused programmed cell death, as shown by Annexin V staining of cells, failure of cells to exclude Trypan Blue dye, condensation and cleavage of nuclear DNA, and appearance of hypodiploid cells in fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) analysis. The accumulation of non-adherent cells and cell death was concomitant with increased intracellular activity of caspase-3. However, inhibition of caspase activation in HR12 cells did not prevent CT-mediated loss of attachment and did not maintain the viability of non-adherent cells, indicating that caspase activation accompanied, but was probably not the cause of, the loss of cell viability. Neither the effects of CT on cell survival nor the activation of caspase-3 were observed in serum-replete conditions, suggesting that serum-derived factors provide protection of cells from CT-induced apoptosis. The inhibitory effects of CT on cell growth were found previously to be related to activation of Erk1/2 MAP kinase. In the present experiments, it was found that the Erk1/2 inhibitor, PD 98059, inhibited the CT-induced loss of cellular adherence and the consequent reduction in cell numbers. These results demonstrate that CT can negatively affect cell survival and they identify roles for cell adherence and MAP kinase activation in this process.