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Periodic Signaling Controlled by an Oscillatory Circuit That Includes Protein Kinases ERK2 and PKA

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Science  07 May 2004:
Vol. 304, Issue 5672, pp. 875-878
DOI: 10.1126/science.1094647

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Abstract

Self-regulating systems often use robust oscillatory circuits. One such system controls the chemotactic signaling mechanism of Dictyostelium, where pulses of adenosine 3′,5′-monophosphate (cAMP) are generated with a periodicity of 7 minutes. We have observed spontaneous oscillations in activation of the mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase ERK2 that occur in phase with peaks of cAMP, and we show that ERK2 modulates cAMP levels through the phosphodiesterase RegA. Computer modeling and simulations of the underlying circuit faithfully account for the ability of the cells to spontaneously generate periodic pulses during specific stages of development. Similar oscillatory processes may occur in cells of many different species.

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