Cyclic adenosine 5′-monophosphate-stimulated neurotensin secretion is mediated through Rap1 downstream of both Epac and protein kinase A signaling pathways

Jing Li, Kathleen L. O'Connor, Xiaodong Cheng, Fang C. Mei, Tatsuo Uchida, Courtney M. Townsend, B. Mark Evers

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33 Scopus citations


Neurotensin (NT), a gut peptide, plays important roles in gastrointestinal secretion, inflammation, and growth of normal and neoplastic tissues. cAMP regulates the secretion of hormones via its effector proteins protein kinase A (PKA) or Epac (exchange protein directly activated by cAMP). The small GTPase Rap1 can be activated by both PKA and Epac; however, the role of Rap1 in hormone secretion is unknown. Here, using the BON human endocrine cell line, we found that forskolin (FSK)-stimulated NT secretion was reduced by inhibition of Rap1 expression and activity. FSK-stimulated NT secretion was enhanced by overexpression of either wild-type or constitutively active Rap1. Epac activators and wild-type Epac enhanced NT release and Rap1 activity. In contrast, overexpression of a cAMP binding mutant, EpacR279E, decreased NT release and Rap1 activity. PKA activation increased NT release and Rap1 activity. FSK-stimulated NT release was reduced by PKA inhibition and the dominant negative Rap1N17. NT secretion, stimulated by Epac activation, was reduced by PKA inhibition; NT release, stimulated by PKA activation, was enhanced by wild-type Epac but reduced by the mutant EpacR279E. Finally, prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), a physiological agent that increases cAMP, stimulated NT secretion via cAMP/PKA/Rap1. Importantly, we demonstrate that PKA and Epac mediate the cAMP-induced NT secretion synergistically by converging at the common downstream target protein Rap1. Moreover, PGE2, a potent mediator of inflammation and associated with colorectal carcinogenesis, stimulates NT release suggesting a possible link between PGE2 and NT on intestinal inflammatory disorders and colorectal cancers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-171
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular Endocrinology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology

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