We previously demonstrated that secretory phospholipase A2 (sPLA2) and lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC) exhibit neurotrophin-like neuritogenic activity in the rat pheochromocytoma cell line PC12. In this study, we further analyzed the mechanism whereby sPLA2 displays neurite-inducing activity. Exogenously added mammalian group X sPLA2 (sPLA2-X), but not group IB and IIA sPLA2s, induced neuritogenesis, which correlated with the ability of sPLA2-X to liberate LPC into the culture media. In accordance, blocking the effect of LPC by supplementation of bovine serum albumin or phospholipase B attenuated neuritogenesis by sPLA2 or LPC. Overproduction or suppression of G2A, a G-protein-coupled receptor involved in LPC signaling, resulted in the enhancement or reduction of neuritogenesis induced by sPLA2 treatment. These results indicate that the neuritogenic effect of sPLA2 is mediated by generation of LPC and subsequent activation of G2A.
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