Calcium-regulated expression of activin A in RBL-2H3 mast cells

Cell Signal. 2003 Jun;15(6):605-13. doi: 10.1016/s0898-6568(02)00150-x.


The present study examined the regulatory expression of activin A, a potent growth and differentiation factor, in rat basophilic leukemia (RBL-2H3) mast cells. Treatment of RBL-2H3 cells sensitized with anti-dinitrophenyl IgE with multivalent dinitrophenyl led to a clear increase in RT-PCR products of inhibin/activin beta(A). The steady-state mRNA of inhibin/activin beta(A) was also induced by increasing cytosolic Ca(2+) concentration with ionomycin, which required de novo protein synthesis, and was regulated at the transcriptional level. Pretreatment of RBL-2H3 cells with antagonists or inhibitors for the calmodulin pathway blocked ionomycin-dependent inhibin/activin beta(A) transcription and mRNA induction, suggesting the involvement of calmodulin-dependent kinase (CaMK) and calcineurin. The ionomycin-dependent inhibin/activin beta(A) induction was also partially blocked by preincubation with c-Jun NH(2)-terminal kinase (JNK) and p38 kinase inhibitors, but not with MEK1 inhibitor. These results suggest that inhibin/activin beta(A) gene activation is achieved by the JNK and p38 kinase activation through the calmodulin pathway in mast cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activins / biosynthesis*
  • Activins / genetics
  • Animals
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Calmodulin / metabolism
  • Inhibin-beta Subunits / biosynthesis*
  • Inhibin-beta Subunits / genetics
  • JNK Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • MAP Kinase Signaling System
  • Mast Cells / immunology
  • Mast Cells / metabolism*
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Transcriptional Activation
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases


  • Calmodulin
  • activin A
  • Activins
  • Inhibin-beta Subunits
  • JNK Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Calcium