To examine the role of protein kinase A (EC 220.127.116.11) isozymes in the retinoic acid-induced growth inhibition and neuronal differentiation, we investigated the changes of protein kinase A isozyme patterns in retinoic acid-treated SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cells. Retinoic acid induced growth inhibition and neuronal differentiation of SH-SY5Y cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Neuronal differentiation was evidenced by extensive neurite outgrowth, decrease of N-Myc oncoprotein, and increase of GAP-43 mRNA. Type II protein kinase A activity increased by 1.5-fold in differentiated SH-SY5Y cells by retinoic acid treatment. The increase of type II protein kinase A was due to the increase of RIIbeta and Calpha subunits. Since type II protein kinase A and RIIbeta have been known to play important role(s) in the growth inhibition and differentiation of cancer cells, we further investigated the role of the increased type II protein kinase A by overexpressing RIIbeta in SH-SY5Y cells. The growth of RIIbeta-overexpressing cells was slower than that of parental cells, being comparable to that of retinoic acid-treated cells. Retinoic acid treatment further increased the RIIbeta level and further inhibited the growth of RIIbeta-overexpressing cells, showing strong correlation between the level of RIIbeta and growth inhibition. However, RIIbeta-overexpressing cells did not show any sign of neuronal differentiation and responded to retinoic acid in the same way as parental cells. These data suggest that protein kinase A participates in the retinoic acid-induced growth inhibition through the up-regulation of RIIbeta/type II protein kinase A.
Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.