Protein kinase C-alpha and protein kinase C-epsilon are required for Grb2-associated binder-1 tyrosine phosphorylation in response to platelet-derived growth factor.
Grb2-associated binder-1 (Gab1) is an adapter protein related to the insulin receptor substrate family. It is a substrate for the insulin receptor as well as the epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor and other receptor-tyrosine kinases. To investigate the role of Gab1 in signaling pathways downstream of growth factor receptors, we stimulated rat aortic vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) with EGF and platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF). Gab1 was tyrosine-phosphorylated by EGF and PDGF within 1 min. AG1478 (an EGF receptor kinase-specific inhibitor) failed to block PDGF-induced Gab1 tyrosine phosphorylation, suggesting that transactivated EGF receptor is not responsible for this signaling event. Because Gab1 associates with phospholipase Cgamma (PLCgamma), we studied the role of the PLCgamma pathway in Gab1 tyrosine phosphorylation. Gab1 tyrosine phosphorylation by PDGF was impaired in Chinese hamster ovary cells expressing mutant PDGFbeta receptor (Y977F/Y989F: lacking the binding site for PLCgamma). Pretreatment of VSMC with (a specific PLCgamma inhibitor) inhibited Gab1 tyrosine phosphorylation as well, indicating the importance of the PLCgamma pathway. Gab1 was tyrosine-phosphorylated by phorbol ester to the same extent as PDGF stimulation. Studies using antisense protein kinase C (PKC) oligonucleotides and specific inhibitors showed that PKCalpha and PKCepsilon are required for Gab1 tyrosine phosphorylation. Binding of Gab1 to the protein-tyrosine phosphatase SHP2 and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase was significantly decreased by PLCgamma and/or PKC inhibition, suggesting the importance of the PLCgamma/PKC-dependent Gab1 tyrosine phosphorylation for the interaction with other signaling molecules. Because PDGF-mediated ERK activation is enhanced in Chinese hamster ovary cells that overexpress Gab1, Gab1 serves as an important link between PKC and ERK activation by PDGFbeta receptors in VSMC.