Editors' ChoiceImmunology

Timing is Essential

Science's STKE  14 Mar 2000:
Vol. 2000, Issue 23, pp. tw6
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2000.23.tw6

Different stimuli can lead to the activation of the same signal transduction pathways in a cell, yet result in different cellular responses. One mechanism for interpreting the signal is the duration of the signal. Valledor et al. provide evidence that the response of macrophages to activating ligands or proliferative ligands is transduced through the common mediator extracellular-regulated kinases, ERK-1 and -2. Proliferative ligands produce a rapid peak (5 minutes) of ERK activity and activating ligands produce a delayed peak (15 minutes) of ERK activity. The data show that the ERK pathway is involved in both macrophage proliferation and macrophage activation and suggest that the decision to proliferate or activate is based on the timing of ERK signal.

Valledor, A.F., Comalada, M., Xaus, J., and Celada, A. (2000) The differential time-course of extracellular-regulated kinase activity correlates with the macrophage response toward proliferation or activation. J. Biol. Chem. 275: 7403-7409. [Abstract] [Full Text]