EGF stimulates mesangial cell mitogenesis via PI3-kinase-mediated MAPK-dependent and AKT kinase-independent manner: Involvement of c-fos and p27Kip1

Lenin Mahimainathan, Nandini Ghosh-Choudhury, Balachandar A. Venkatesan, Ratna S. Danda, Goutam Ghosh Choudhury

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Scopus citations


Epidermal growth factor (EGF) is a potent mitogen for mesangial cells. The mechanism by which EGF induces DNA synthesis is not precisely understood. We investigated the role of phosphatidylinositol (PI)3-kinase in regulating mitogenesis. EGF increased PI3-kinase activity resulting in stimulation of PDK-1 and Akt kinase activities. Blocking of PI3-kinase activity using LY-294002 or adenoviral expression of PTEN, which dephosphorylates PI3,4,5-tris-phosphate and thus inactivates PI3-kinase signaling, significantly inhibits EGF-induced DNA synthesis. Expression of dominant-negative Akt kinase, however, had no effect on DNA synthesis. But it inhibited EGF-induced phosphorylation of FoxO3a transcription factor, thus demonstrating its functional consequences. These data indicate that EGF increases the DNA synthesis in a PI3-kinase-dependent but Akt-independent manner. In addition to activating PI3-kinase signaling, EGF increased Erk1/2 MAPK activity, leading to transcriptional activation of its nuclear target Elk-1 and resulting in c-fos expression. Inhibition of MAPK activity by MEK inhibitor U-0126 abolished EGF-induced DNA synthesis. Because EGF activates PI3-kinase, which also regulates DNA synthesis, the effect of PI3-kinase on MAPK activity was also examined. Inhibition of PI3-kinase signaling blocked EGF-induced MAPK activity as well as Elk-1-dependent reporter transcription and c-fos gene transcription. To further determine the mechanism of EGF-induced DNA synthesis, we investigated the effect of EGF on the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27Kip1. EGF reduced the expression of p27Kip1. Inhibition of PI3-kinase action or MAPK activity abolished the reduction in p27Kip1 expression induced by EGF. These data provide the evidence that a linear signal transduction pathway involving PI3-kinase-dependent MAPK regulates EGF-induced DNA synthesis in mesangial cells by regulating c-fos and p27Kip1 expression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)F72-F82
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology
Issue number1 58-1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2005



  • DNA synthesis
  • Epidermal growth factor
  • Signal transduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Urology

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