Exchange Protein Activated by Cyclic AMP (Epac)-Mediated Induction of Suppressor of Cytokine Signaling 3 (SOCS-3) in Vascular Endothelial Cells

Sands WA, Woolson HD, Milne GR, Rutherford C, Palmer TM
Source: Mol Cell Biol
Publication Date: (2006)
Issue: 26(17): 6333-6346
Research Area:
Cancer Research/Cell Biology
Cells used in publication:
Endothelial, umbilical vein, human (HUVEC)
Species: human
Tissue Origin: vein
Nucleofectorâ„¢ I/II/2b
Here, we demonstrate that elevation of intracellular cyclic AMP (cAMP) in vascular endothelial cells (ECs) by either a direct activator of adenylyl cyclase or endogenous cAMP-mobilizing G protein-coupled receptors inhibited the tyrosine phosphorylation of STAT proteins by an interleukin 6 (IL-6) receptor trans-signaling complex (soluble IL-6Ralpha/IL-6). This was associated with the induction of suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (SOCS-3), a bona fide inhibitor in vivo of gp130, the signal-transducing component of the IL-6 receptor complex. Attenuation of SOCS-3 induction in either ECs or SOCS-3-null murine embryonic fibroblasts abolished the inhibitory effect of cAMP, whereas inhibition of SHP-2, another negative regulator of gp130, was without effect. Interestingly, the inhibition of STAT phosphorylation and SOCS-3 induction did not require cAMP-dependent protein kinase activity but could be recapitulated upon selective activation of the alternative cAMP sensor Epac, a guanine nucleotide exchange factor for Rap1. Consistent with this hypothesis, small interfering RNA-mediated knockdown of Epac1 was sufficient to attenuate both cAMP-mediated SOCS-3 induction and inhibition of STAT phosphorylation, suggesting that Epac activation is both necessary and sufficient to observe these effects. Together, these data argue for the existence of a novel cAMP/Epac/Rap1/SOCS-3 pathway for limiting IL-6 receptor signaling in ECs and illuminate a new mechanism by which cAMP may mediate its potent anti-inflammatory effects.