Biomolecules 2020 Oct 14;10(10). Epub 2020 Oct 14.
Division of Cellular and Molecular Biology, Zoological Institute, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Spielmannstraße 7, 38106 Braunschweig, Germany.
Medicinal mushrooms of the genus are known to produce secondary metabolites with homeostatic properties for the central nervous system. We and others have recently demonstrated that among these metabolites cyathane diterpenoids and in particular erinacine C possess potent neurotrophin inducing properties in astrocytic cells. Yet, the signaling events downstream of erinacine C induced neurotrophin acitivity in neural-like adrenal phaeochromocytoma cells (PC12) cells have remained elusive. Similar, signaling events activated by erinacine C in astrocytic cells are unknown. Using a combination of genetic and pharmacological inhibitors we show that erinacine C induced neurotrophic activity mediates PC12 cell differentiation via the TrkA receptor and likely its associated PLCγ-, PI3K-, and MAPK/ERK pathways. Furthermore, a small library of transcriptional activation reporters revealed that erinacine C induces transcriptional activation mediated by DNA consensus binding sites of selected conserved transcription factor families. Among these, transcription is activated from an ETS consensus in a concentration dependent manner. Interestingly, induced ETS-consensus transcription occurs in parallel and independent of neurotrophin induction. This finding helps to explain the many pleiotropic functions of cyathane diterpenoids. Moreover, our studies provide genetic access to cyathane diterpenoid functions in astrocytic cells and help to mechanistically understand the action of cyathanes in glial cells.