Fer is a downstream effector of insulin and mediates the activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 in myogenic cells

Michal Taler, Sally Shpungin, Yaniv Salem, Hana Malovani, Orel Pasder, Uri Nir*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Fer is an intracellular tyrosine kinase that associates with signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (Stat3) in mammalian cells. However, the signaling pathways in which this interaction plays a functional role have not been revealed. Herein, we show that insulin up-regulates the levels of the fer mRNA and Fer protein in myoblasts that undergo insulin-induced myogenic differentiation. Moreover, insulin directs the interaction of Fer with members of the Janus family of tyrosine kinases (Jak)-Stat3 signaling pathway. Although in untreated cells Fer binds Jak1 and its tyrosine phosphorylation level is low, insulin treatment induced the phosphorylation of Fer and its dissociation from Jak1. The up-regulation of Fer and its dissociation from Jak1 were accompanied by an augmented association of activated Fer with Stat3 and by a concomitant increase in the tyrosine phosphorylation of Stat3. Dissociation of Fer and Jak1, as well as elevation in the level of Fer and in the tyrosine phosphorylation of Stat3, depended on the activity of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) and was abolished by a PI3K inhibitor. However, Fer and Stat3 were only mildly affected by low concentrations of IGF-I, another activator of the PI3K pathway that can also induce myogenic differentiation. RNA interference directed toward the fer mRNA did not affect the cellular levels of Stat3 but led to a dramatic reduction in the tyrosine phosphorylation level of this transcription factor. Thus, Fer is a downstream effector of insulin and mediates the activation of Stat3 in myogenic cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1580-1592
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular Endocrinology
Volume17
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2003
Externally publishedYes

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