A BALB/c 3T3 preadipose cell line defective in Na+K+Cl- cotransport (3T3-E12a cells) has been used to study the relationship between phorbol ester-induced rapid changes in cation fluxes and changes in expression of a gene known to be modulated by this agent. In contrast to its effect on parental 3T3 cells, 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) did not inhibit either furosemide-sensitive 86Rb+ influx or the rate of 86Rb+ efflux from preloaded mutant cells. TPA-induced changes in intracellular K+ content were diminished in 3T3-E12a cells as compared with parental cells. Thus, mutation of the Na+K+Cl- cotransport system renders overall potassium transport in mutant cells largely insensitive to modulation by TPA. The morphological and functional responses of 3T3 and 3T3-E12a cells to TPA were also compared. In contrast to the extensive and long-lasting changes in morphology of 3T3 cells after 0.16 microM TPA addition, only slight and shorter-lived morphological effects of TPA were observed in 3T3-E12a cells. The transport properties of mutant cells were not totally unresponsive to TPA since hexose transport (2-deoxyglucose uptake) could be stimulated in both cell types. To establish a possible link between early changes in cation fluxes and activation of gene expression by TPA, the induction of the enzyme ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) was studied in detail. Addition of fresh medium containing serum or exposure to hypoosmotic conditions resulted in the induction of ODC in both 3T3 and 3T3-E12a cells. However, TPA failed to cause an increase in ODC activity in mutant cells, although a substantial induction of the enzyme was seen in parental cells. These results suggest that rapid changes in ion fluxes mediated by the Na+K+Cl- cotransport system are necessary for at least one of the phorbol ester-induced changes in gene expression in responsive cells.

This content is only available as a PDF.