Novel Role for Cyclin-dependent Kinase 2 in Neuregulin-induced Acetylcholine Receptor ϵ Subunit Expression in Differentiated Myotubes
Journal of Biological Chemistry
Cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) are a family of evolutionarily conserved serine/threonine kinases. CDK2 acts as a checkpoint for the G 1 /S transition in the cell cycle. Despite a down-regulation of CDK2 activity in postmitotic cells, many cell types, including muscle cells, maintain abundant levels of CDK2 protein. This led us to hypothesize that CDK2 may have a function in postmitotic cells. We show here for the first time that CDK2 can be activated by neuregulin (NRG) in differentiated C2C12
... ifferentiated C2C12 myotubes. In addition, this activity is required for expression of the acetylcholine receptor (AChR) ⑀ subunit. The switch from the fetal AChR␥ subunit to the adult-type AChR⑀ is required for synapse maturation and the neuromuscular junction. Inhibition of CDK2 activity with either the specific CDK2 inhibitory peptide Tat-LFG or by RNA interference abolished neuregulin-induced AChR⑀ expression. Neuregulin-induced activation of CDK2 also depended on the ErbB receptor, MAPK, and PI3K, all of which have previously been shown to be required for AChR⑀ expression. Neuregulin regulated CDK2 activity through coordinating phosphorylation of CDK2 on Thr-160, accumulation of CDK2 in the nucleus, and down-regulation of the CDK2 inhibitory protein p27 in the nucleus. In addition, we also observed a novel mechanism of regulation of CDK2 activity by a low molecular weight variant of cyclin E in response to NRG. These findings establish CDK2 as an intermediate molecule that integrates NRG-activated signals from both the MAPK and PI3K pathways to AChR⑀ expression and reveal an undiscovered physiological role for CDK2 in postmitotic cells.