Purpose. FGF-2 stimulates cell proliferation of rabbit corneal endothelial cells (rCECs) by degrading the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27Kip1 (p27) through its phosphorylation mechanism. The authors investigated whether the cell proliferation of human CECs (hCECs) is also induced by FGF-2 stimulation through the p27 phosphorylation pathway. Methods. Expression and activation of protein were analyzed by immunoblotting. Cell proliferation was measured by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazolyl-2)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. Transfection of hCECs with small interference RNA (siRNA) was performed using a transfection reagent. Results. FGF-2 stimulated cell proliferation in hCECs; the FGF-2 action was completely blocked by pathway-specific inhibitors for PI 3-kinase (LY294002) and MEK1/2 (U0126), respectively. Using immunoblotting, the authors showed that FGF-2 induced phosphorylation of p27 at both serine 10 (Ser10) and threonine 187 (Thr187) sites. These effects were also completely blocked by LY294002 or U0126. The authors then determined cross-talk between PI 3-kinase and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2; blocking of ERK1/2 activation by LY294002 indicated that in hCECs ERK1/2 works as a downstream effector to PI 3-kinase for cell proliferation induced by FGF-2, whereas the ERK1/2 pathway in rCECs is parallel to the PI 3-kinase pathway. However, the downstream mechanism involved in cell cycle progression in hCECs is identical to that of rCECs: phosphorylation of p27 at Ser10 was mediated by kinase-interacting stathmin (KIS), confirmed with siRNA to KIS, and phosphorylation of p27 at Thr187 was mediated by cell division cycle 25A (Cdc25A), confirmed using Cdc25A inhibitor. Conclusions. FGF-2 stimulates proliferation of hCECs through PI 3-kinase and its downstream target ERK1/2 pathways. This linear signal transduction significantly downregulates p27 through its phosphorylation at both Ser10 and Thr187 sites mediated by KIS and Cdc25A, respectively.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience