Epiregulin is an epidermal growth factor (EGF) member that activates ErBB1 and ErBB4 homodimers and all possible heterodimeric ErbB complexes. Because its role in renal cell regeneration has not been investigated, we assessed the effect of exogenous epiregulin on regeneration of renal proximal tubular cells (RPTC) in primary culture. Epiregulin (10 ng/ml) was equivalent to EGF (10 ng/ml) in enhancing RPTC proliferation and migration. Epiregulin induced activation of the EGF receptor (EGFR), Akt, a downstream kinase of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K), and extracellular signaling-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2). Treatment with AG1478, a specific EGFR inhibitor, blocked phosphorylation of EGFR, Akt, ERK1/2, proliferation, and migration. Furthermore, inactivation of PI3K with LY-294002 blocked epiregulin-induced RPTC proliferation and, to a lesser extent, migration. However, blockade of ERK1/2 had no such effects. We suggest that epiregulin is a potent mitogen for renal epithelial cells and may contribute to renal regeneration through activation of EGFR and PI3/Akt pathways.
- Epidermal growth factor receptor
- Phosphoinositide 3-kinase
ASJC Scopus subject areas