p53 is necessary for the elimination of neural cells inappropriately differentiated or in response to stimuli. However, the role of p53 in neuronal differentiation is not certain. Here, we showed that nerve growth factor (NGF)-mediated differentiation in PC12 cells is enhanced by overexpression of wild-type p53 but inhibited by mutant p53 or knockdown of endogenous wild-type p53, the latter of which can be rescued by expression of exogenous wild-type p53. Interestingly, p53 knockdown or overexpression of mutant p53 attenuates NGF-mediated activation of TrkA, the high-affinity receptor for NGF and a tyrosine kinase, and activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway. In addition, p53 knockdown reduces the constitutive levels of TrkA, which renders PC12 cells inert to NGF. And finally, we showed that both constitutive and stimuli-induced expressions of TrkA are regulated by p53 and that induction of TrkA by activated endogenous p53 enhances NGF-mediated differentiation. Taken together, our data demonstrate that p53 plays a critical role in NGF-mediated neuronal differentiation in PC12 cells at least in part via regulation of TrkA levels.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology