Differential Ras-dependence of gene induction by nerve growth factor and second messenger analogs in PC12 cells

Marianna Pap, Jozsef Szeberényi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)


Induction of neurite formation by nerve growth factor (NGF) in PC12 pheochromocytoma cells can be efficiently inhibited by expressing a dominant negative mutant form of the small guanine nucleotide binding Ha-Ras protein in these cells. The block in NGF-induced neuritogenesis caused by inhibition of endogenous Ras proteins was found to be partially relieved by simultaneous stimulation of cAMP- or Ca++-dependent signaling pathways. Since expression of certain genes is believed to be involved in NGF-signaling leading to morphological differentiation, we decided to study the combined effects of NGF and second messenger analogs on gene expression in PC12 cell lines expressing different levels of the interfering Ras protein. We found NGF- second messenger combinations that induced normal c-fos, zif268 and nur77 early-response gene expression without neuritogenesis, and, conversely, cell lines in which certain combination treatments caused partial neuronal differentiation in the absence of substantial activation of these genes. Similarly, neurite outgrowth induced by combination treatments does not seem to require the activation of the late-response transin gene. Our results thus suggest a lack of strong correlation between NGF-stimulated early- and secondary-response gene induction and morphological differentiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)969-975
Number of pages7
JournalNeurochemical research
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 30 1998


  • Early-response genes
  • Nerve growth factor
  • PC12 cells
  • Ras proteins
  • Secondary-response genes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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