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EPHB6 is a member of the erythropoietin-producing hepatocellular kinase (EPH) family and a receptor tyrosine kinase with a dead kinase domain. It is involved in blood pressure regulation and adrenal gland catecholamine (CAT) secretion, but several facets of EPHB6-mediated CAT regulation are unclear. In this study, using biochemical, quantitative RT-PCR, immunoblotting, and gene microarray assays, we found that EPHB6 up-regulates CAT biosynthesis in adrenal gland chromaffin cells (AGCCs). We observed that epinephrine content is reduced in the AGCCs from male Ephb6-KO mice, caused by decreased expression of tyrosine hydroxylase, the rate-limiting enzyme in CAT biosynthesis. We demonstrate that the signaling pathway from EPHB6 to tyrosine hydroxylase expression in AGCCs involves Rac family small GTPase 1 (RAC1), MAP kinase kinase 7 (MKK7), c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), proto-oncogene c-Jun, activator protein 1 (AP1), and early growth response 1 (EGR1). On the other hand, signaling via extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK1/2), p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase, and ELK1, ETS transcription factor (ELK1) was not affected by EPHB6 deletion. We further report that EPHB6's effect on AGCCs was via reverse signaling through ephrin B1 and that EPHB6 acted in concert with the nongenomic effect of testosterone to control CAT biosynthesis. Our findings elucidate the mechanisms by which EPHB6 modulates CAT biosynthesis and identify potential therapeutic targets for diseases, such as hypertension, caused by dysfunctional CAT biosynthesis. © 2019 Shi et al.


Wei Shi, Yujia Wang, Junzheng Peng, Shijie Qi, Nicolas Vitale, Norio Kaneda, Tomiyasu Murata, Hongyu Luo, Jiangping Wu. EPHB6 controls catecholamine biosynthesis by up-regulating tyrosine hydroxylase transcription in adrenal gland chromaffin cells. The Journal of biological chemistry. 2019 Apr 26;294(17):6871-6887

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PMID: 30824540

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