Quantitation of signal transduction.

TitleQuantitation of signal transduction.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2000
AuthorsKrauss, S, Brand, MD
JournalFASEB J
Date Published2000 Dec
KeywordsAnimals, Calcineurin Inhibitors, Concanavalin A, Enzyme Inhibitors, Female, Indoles, Lymphocyte Activation, Maleimides, Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases, Mitogens, Models, Biological, Oxygen Consumption, Protein Kinase C, Pyrethrins, Rats, Rats, Wistar, Signal Transduction, Thymus Gland

Conventional qualitative approaches to signal transduction provide powerful ways to explore the architecture and function of signaling pathways. However, at the level of the complete system, they do not fully depict the interactions between signaling and metabolic pathways and fail to give a manageable overview of the complexity that is often a feature of cellular signal transduction. Here, we introduce a quantitative experimental approach to signal transduction that helps to overcome these difficulties. We present a quantitative analysis of signal transduction during early mitogen stimulation of lymphocytes, with steady-state respiration rate as a convenient marker of metabolic stimulation. First, by inhibiting various key signaling pathways, we measure their relative importance in regulating respiration. About 80% of the input signal is conveyed via identifiable routes: 50% through pathways sensitive to inhibitors of protein kinase C and MAP kinase and 30% through pathways sensitive to an inhibitor of calcineurin. Second, we quantify how each of these pathways differentially stimulates functional units of reactions that produce and consume a key intermediate in respiration: the mitochondrial membrane potential. Both the PKC and calcineurin routes stimulate consumption more strongly than production, whereas the unidentified signaling routes stimulate production more than consumption, leading to no change in membrane potential despite increased respiration rate. The approach allows a quantitative description of the relative importance of signal transduction pathways and the routes by which they activate a specific cellular process. It should be widely applicable.

Alternate JournalFASEB J.
Citation Key10.1096/fj.00-0064com
PubMed ID11099477