Protein phosphatase magnesium dependent 1A (PPM1A) plays a role in the differentiation and survival processes of nerve cells

PLoS One. 2012;7(2):e32438. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0032438. Epub 2012 Feb 27.


The serine/threonine phosphatase type 2C (PPM1A) has a broad range of substrates, and its role in regulating stress response is well established. We have investigated the involvement of PPM1A in the survival and differentiation processes of PC6-3 cells, a subclone of the PC12 cell line. This cell line can differentiate into neuron like cells upon exposure to nerve growth factor (NGF). Overexpression of PPM1A in naive PC6-3 cells caused cell cycle arrest at the G2/M phase followed by apoptosis. Interestingly, PPM1A overexpression did not affect fully differentiated cells. Using PPM1A overexpressing cells and PPM1A knockdown cells, we show that this phosphatase affects NGF signaling in PC6-3 cells and is engaged in neurite outgrowth. In addition, the ablation of PPM1A interferes with NGF-induced growth arrest during differentiation of PC6-3 cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Bromodeoxyuridine / pharmacology
  • Cell Cycle
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Division
  • Flow Cytometry / methods
  • G2 Phase
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic*
  • Models, Biological
  • Nerve Growth Factor / metabolism
  • PC12 Cells
  • Phosphoprotein Phosphatases / metabolism*
  • Plasmids / metabolism
  • Protein Phosphatase 2C
  • Rats
  • Transfection


  • Nerve Growth Factor
  • Phosphoprotein Phosphatases
  • Protein Phosphatase 2C
  • Bromodeoxyuridine