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In SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cells, the cholinergic agonist, carbachol, stimulates phosphorylation of the small heat shock protein 27 (HSP27). Carbachol increases phosphorylation of both Ser-82 and Ser-78 while the phorbol ester, phorbol-12, 13-dibutyrate (PDB) affects only Ser-82. Muscarinic receptor activation by carbachol was confirmed by sensitivity of Ser-82 phosphorylation to hyoscyamine with no effect of nicotine or bradykinin. This response to carbachol is partially reduced by inhibition of protein kinase C (PKC) with GF 109203X and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) with SB 203580. In contrast, phosphorylation produced by PDB is completely reversed by GF 109203X or CID 755673, an inhibitor of PKD. Inhibition of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase or Akt with LY 294002 or Akti-1/2 stimulates HSP27 phosphorylation while rapamycin, which inhibits mTORC1, does not. The stimulatory effect of Akti-1/2 is reversed by SB 203580 and correlates with increased p38 MAPK phosphorylation. SHSY5Y cells differentiated with a low concentration of PDB and basic fibroblast growth factor to a more neuronal phenotype retain carbachol-, PDB- and Akti-1/2-responsive HSP27 phosphorylation. Immunofluorescence microscopy confirms increased HSP27 phosphorylation in response to carbachol or PDB. At cell margins, PDB causes f-actin to reorganize forming lamellipodial structures from which phospho-HSP27 is segregated. The resultant phenotypic change in cell morphology is dependent upon PKC, but not PKD, activity. The major conclusion from this study is that the phosphorylated state of HSP27 in SH-SY5Y cells results from integrated signaling involving PKC, p38 MAPK and Akt.


NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Neuropharmacology. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Neuropharmacology, volume 61, issue 1-2 (July-August 2011). DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2011.02.010

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