Phosphorylation of EGFR, ERK 1/2 and downstream transcription factors after P2Y2 receptor activation in a human submandibular gland cell line
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P2 nucleotide receptors mediate a variety of biological responses and are activated by the extracellular nucleotides adenosine triphosphate (ATP), adenosine diphosphate (ADP), uridine triphosphate (UTP), uridine diphosphate (UDP). The P2Y2 nucleotide receptor is a seven transmembrane spanning domain receptor activated by the nucleotides ATP and UTP, and is up-regulated in a variety of tissues in response to injury or stress. For example, the P2Y2 receptors are not normally expressed in salivary glands, but upon disruption of tissue homeostasis, the P2Y2 receptors are up-regulated. Sjogren's disease is an autoimmune disorder that affects salivary and lacrimal glands resulting in a decreased ability to produce saliva and tears. Previous work by our lab has shown that the P2Y2 receptor is up-regulated in submandibular glands of a Sjogren's syndrome mouse model, suggesting that it may be up-regulated in human Sjogren's syndrome. The goal of this project is to analyze the function of P2Y2 receptors in salivary gland tissues. HSG cells, which endogenously express P2Y2 receptors and are derived from a human submandibular gland tumor, were utilized as a cell model to analyze downstream signaling pathways in response to UTP. Our results show that UTP, the P2Y2 receptor selective agonist, causes phosphorylation of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), extracellular regulated kinases (ERK 1/2) and the downstream transcription factors p90RSK, and ELK, suggesting that P2Y2 receptors may play a role in gene transcription in salivary gland tissues.