MEK and ERK activation in ras-disabled RBL-2H3 mast cells and novel roles for geranylgeranylated and farnesylated proteins in Fc epsilonRI-mediated signaling.J Immunol. 1998 Dec 15; 161(12):6733-44.JI
Cross-linking the high affinity IgE receptor Fc epsilonRI of basophils and mast cells activates receptor-associated protein-tyrosine kinases and stimulates a signaling cascade leading to secretion, ruffling, spreading, and cytokine production. Previous evidence that the pan-prenylation inhibitor lovastatin blocks Ag-stimulated Ca2+ influx, secretion, and membrane/cytoskeletal responses implicated isoprenylated proteins in the Fc epsilonRI-coupled signaling cascade but could not distinguish between contributions of C15 (farnesylated) and C20 (geranylgeranylated) species. Here we establish concentrations of lovastatin and the farnesyl-specific inhibitor BZA-5B that inhibit the farnesylation and Ag-induced activation of Ras species in RBL-2H3 cells (H-Ras, K-RasA, and K-RasB). These inhibitors have little effect on tyrosine kinase activation, which initiates Fc epsilonRI signaling. Although Ras is disabled, only lovastatin substantially blocks Raf-1 activation, and neither inhibitor affects mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase/extracellular signal regulated kinase kinase (MEK) or ERK1/ERK2 activation. Thus, the pathway to Fc epsilonRI-mediated MEK/ERK and ERK activation can apparently bypass Ras and Raf-1. Predictably, only lovastatin inhibits Ag-induced ruffling, spreading, and secretion, previously linked to geranylgeranylated Rho and Rab family members. Additionally, only lovastatin inhibits phospholipase Cgamma-mediated inositol (1,4,5) trisphosphate production, sustained Ca2+ influx, and Ca2+-dependent IL-4 production, suggesting novel roles for geranylgeranylated (lovastatin-sensitive, BZA-5B-insensitive) proteins in Fc epsilonRI signal propagation. Remarkably, BZA-5B concentrations too low to inactivate Ras reduce the lag time to Ag-induced Ca2+ stores release and enhance secretion. These results link a non-Ras farnesylated protein(s) to the negative regulation of Ca2+ release from intracellular stores and secretion. We identified no clear role for Ras in Fc epsilonRI-coupled signaling but suggest its involvement in mast cell growth regulation based on the inhibition of cell proliferation by both BZA-5B and lovastatin.