PP2A regulates SCF-induced cardiac stem cell migration through interaction with p38 MAPK

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Aims:Previous studies have shown that stem cell factor (SCF) induces the migration of cardiac stem cells (CSCs) and helps to repair myocardial infarctions. Earlier studies on the migration mechanism only focused on the activation of kinases; here, we aimed to explore the functional role of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) in SCF-induced CSC migration.Main methods:CSCs were treated with SCF, PP2A enzymatic activity was measured, the phosphorylation levels of PP2A, p38 MAPK and cofilin were evaluated using western blot. Transwell assay was used to determine the migratory ability of CSCs.Key findings:In vitro, SCF induced the phosphorylation of p38 MAPK and cofilin, leading to the migration of CSCs. Cofilin acted as a downstream signal of p38 MAPK. PP2A was involved in this process. Further studies revealed that PP2A was inactivated via phosphorylation at Tyr307 by SCF and the inactivation/phosphorylation was mediated by activated p38 MAPK, as p38 MAPK inhibitor SB203580 or siRNA prevented SCF-induced inactivation and phosphorylation of PP2A. When CSCs were pretreated with PP2A inhibitor (okadaic acid, OA), SCF-induced CSC migration and the downstream signals were enhanced, and the enhancement was reversed when p38 MAPK was blocked. Additionally, co-immunoprecipitation showed a direct interaction of PP2A with p38 MAPK.Significance:Our results indicated that PP2A regulated the SCF-induced activation of p38 MAPK/cofilin signaling pathway and subsequent migration of CSCs by interaction with p38 MAPK.

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