Induction of neurite outgrowth by v-src mimics critical aspects of nerve growth factor-induced differentiation

S. M. Thomas, M. Hayes, G. D'Arcangelo, R. C. Armstrong, B. E. Meyer, A. Zilberstein, J. S. Brugge, S. Halegoua

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49 Scopus citations


PC12 cells treated with nerve growth factor (NGF) or infected with Rous sarcoma virus differentiate into sympathetic, neuronlike cells. To compare the differentiation programs induced by NGF and v-src, we have established a PC12 cell line expressing a temperature-sensitive v-src protein. The v-src-expressing PC12 cell line was shown to elaborate neuritic processes in a temperature-inducible manner, indicating that the differentiation process was dependent on the activity of the v-src protein. Further characterization of this cell line, in comparison with NGF-treated PC12 cells, indicated that the events associated with neurite outgrowth induced by these two agents shared features but could be distinguished by others. Both NGF- and v-src-induced neurite outgrowths were reversible. In addition, NGF and v-src could prime PC12 cells for NGF-induced neurite outgrowth, and representative early and late NGF-responsive genes were also induced by v-src. However, unlike NGF-induced neurite growth, v-src-induced neurite outgrowth was not blocked at high cell density. A comparison of phosphotyrosine containing-protein profiles showed that v-src and NGF each increase tyrosine phosphorylation of multiple cellular proteins. There was overlap in substrates; however, both NGF-specific and v-src-specific tyrosine phosphorylations were observed. One protein which was found to be phosphorylated in both the NGF- and v-src-induced PC12 cells was phospholipase C-γ1. Taken together, these results suggest that v-src's ability to function as an inducing agent may be a consequence of its ability to mimic critical aspects of the NGF differentiation program and raise the possibility that Src-like tyrosine kinases are involved in mediating some of the events triggered by NGF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4739-4750
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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