Intracellular signaling dynamics play fundamental roles in cell biology. Precise modulation of the amplitude, duration, and frequency of signaling activation will be a powerful approach to investigate molecular mechanisms as well as to engineer signaling to control cell behaviors. Here, we showed a practical approach to achieve precise amplitude modulation (AM), frequency modulation (FM), and duration modulation (DM) of MAP kinase activation. Alternating current (AC) electrical stimulation induced synchronized ERK activation. Amplitude and duration of ERK activation were controlled by varying stimulation strength and duration. ERK activation frequencies were arbitrarily modulated with trains of short AC applications with accurately defined intervals. Significantly, ERK dynamics coded by well-designed AC can rewire PC12 cell fate independent of growth factors. This technique can be used to synchronize and modulate ERK activation dynamics, thus would offer a practical way to control cell behaviors in vivo without the use of biochemical agents or genetic manipulation.
- Cell biology
- Functional aspects of cell biology
- Integrative aspects of cell biology
ASJC Scopus subject areas