The Ras suppressor, RSU-1, enhances nerve growth factor-induced differentiation of PC12 cells and induces p21(CIP) expression

L. Masuelli, S. Ettenberg, F. Vasaturo, K. Vestergaard-Sykes, Mary Cutler

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The Rsu-1 Ras suppressor gene was isolated based on its ability to inhibit v-Ras transformation. Using Rsu-1 transfectants of the pheochromocytoma cell line PC12, we demonstrated previously that Rsu-1 expression inhibited Jun kinase activation but enhanced Erk2 activation in response to epidermal growth factor. In the present study, the Rsu-1 PC12 transfectants were used to investigate the role of Rsu-1 in nerve growth factor (NGF)- and v-Ki-ras-mediated neuronal differentiation. NGF-induced neurite extension was enhanced, not inhibited, by the expression of Rsu-1 in PC12 cells. The activation of Erk kinase activity in response to NGF was sustained longer in the Rsu-1 transfectants compared with the vector control cells. During NGF-mediated differentiation, an increase in the expression of specific mRNAs for the early response genes Fos, cJun, and NGF1a was detected in both the vector control and Rsu-1 transfectants. The expression of the differentiation-specific genes VGF8 and SCG10 was similar in Rsu-1 transfectants compared with the vector control cells. The induction of Rsu-1 expression in these cell lines did not inhibit v-Ki-ras-induced differentiation, as measured by neurite extension. These data suggest that although Rsu-1 blocked some Ras-dependent response(s), these responses were not required for differentiation. Moreover, the induction of Rsu-1 expression in the PC12 clones resulted in growth inhibition and p21(WAF/CIP) expression. Hence, Rsu-1 expression enhances NGF-induced differentiation while inhibiting the growth of cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)555-564
Number of pages10
JournalCell Growth and Differentiation
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1999
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology

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