Brain-derived neurotrophic factor mediates the anti-apoptotic effect of NMDA in cerebellar granule neurons: signal transduction cascades and site of ethanol action.
A myriad of gene induction events underlie nerve growth factor (NGF)-induced differentiation of PC12 cells. To dissect the signal transduction pathways which lead to NGF actions, we have assessed the relative roles of NGF receptor, Src, Ras, and Raf activities in mediating specific gene inductions. We have used the PC12 cell line as well as sublines which inducibly express activated forms of either Src, Ras, or Raf or a dominant inhibitory form of Ras (p21N17 Ras) to study the expression of multiple NGF-inducible mRNAs. The NGF induction of NGFI-A, transin, and VGF mRNAs was mimicked by activated forms of Src, Ras, or Raf and was blocked by p21N17 Ras. The NGF induction of SCG10 mRNA was mimicked only by activated Src and Ras and was blocked by p21N17 Ras, while the induction of Thy-1 mRNA was mimicked only by activated Src and was not blocked by p21N17 Ras. The NGF induction of mRNAs for two sodium channel types was neither mimicked by any activated oncoprotein nor blocked by p21N17 Ras. From these and previous results, we suggest a model in which a linear order of NGF receptor, Src, Ras, and Raf activities is used by NGF to elicit gene inductions. These signaling components define branchpoints in the pathway to specific gene induction events, providing a mechanism for generating a host of diverse NGF actions.