Ras-dependent mitogen-activated protein kinase activation by G protein-coupled receptors. Convergence of Gi- and Gq-mediated pathways on calcium/calmodulin, Pyk2, and Src kinase

J Biol Chem. 1997 Aug 1;272(31):19125-32. doi: 10.1074/jbc.272.31.19125.


Many receptors that couple to heterotrimeric guanine-nucleotide binding proteins (G proteins) have been shown to mediate rapid activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinases Erk1 and Erk2. In different cell types, the signaling pathways employed appear to be a function of the available repertoire of receptors, G proteins, and effectors. In HEK-293 cells, stimulation of either alpha1B- or alpha2A-adrenergic receptors (ARs) leads to rapid 5-10-fold increases in Erk1/2 phosphorylation. Phosphorylation of Erk1/2 in response to stimulation of the alpha2A-AR is effectively attenuated by pretreatment with pertussis toxin or by coexpression of a Gbetagamma subunit complex sequestrant peptide (betaARK1ct) and dominant-negative mutants of Ras (N17-Ras), mSOS1 (SOS-Pro), and Raf (DeltaN-Raf). Erk1/2 phosphorylation in response to alpha1B-AR stimulation is also attenuated by coexpression of N17-Ras, SOS-Pro, or DeltaN-Raf, but not by coexpression of betaARK1ct or by pretreatment with pertussis toxin. The alpha1B- and alpha2A-AR signals are both blocked by phospholipase C inhibition, intracellular Ca2+ chelation, and inhibitors of protein-tyrosine kinases. Overexpression of a dominant-negative mutant of c-Src or of the negative regulator of c-Src function, Csk, results in attenuation of the alpha1B-AR- and alpha2A-AR-mediated Erk1/2 signals. Chemical inhibitors of calmodulin, but not of PKC, and overexpression of a dominant-negative mutant of the protein-tyrosine kinase Pyk2 also attenuate mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphorylation after both alpha1B- and alpha2A-AR stimulation. Erk1/2 activation, then, proceeds via a common Ras-, calcium-, and tyrosine kinase-dependent pathway for both Gi- and Gq/11-coupled receptors. These results indicate that in HEK-293 cells, the Gbetagamma subunit-mediated alpha2A-AR- and the Galphaq/11-mediated alpha1B-AR-coupled Erk1/2 activation pathways converge at the level of phospholipase C. These data suggest that calcium-calmodulin plays a central role in the calcium-dependent regulation of tyrosine phosphorylation by G protein-coupled receptors in some systems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium / physiology
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Enzyme Activation
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / physiology*
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 1
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 3
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases*
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / physiology
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins p21(ras) / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / physiology*
  • Type C Phospholipases / physiology


  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 1
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 3
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Type C Phospholipases
  • GTP-Binding Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins p21(ras)
  • Calcium