Erythropoietin receptor signal transduction requires protein geranylgeranylation

Sumaya N. Hamadmad, Matthew K. Henry, Raymond J. Hohl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Erythropoietin (Epo) acts through the erythropoietin receptor, a member of the type-1 cytokine receptor family, to influence survival, proliferation, and differentiation of erythroid progenitors. Epo stimulation of factor-dependent 32D cells results in phosphorylation of many proteins, including Janus kinase (Jak) 2, signal transducer and activator of transcription (Stat) 5, and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (Erk). Some of Epo-activated signaling proteins require isoprenylation, either farnesylation or geranylgeranylation, for post-translational modification. In this study, we sought to characterize the interplay between protein isoprenylation and Epo signal transduction. Using two different Epo-responsive cell lines, we found that depletion of mevalonate and its isoprenoid derivatives using the 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl (HMG)-CoA reductase inhibitor lovastatin impairs Epo signaling as assessed by phosphorylation of cellular substrates and inhibition of apoptosis. Interestingly, the effect of mevalonate depletion was prevented by adding back geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate but not farnesyl pyrophosphate. Furthermore, selective inhibition of protein geranylgeranylation mimicked the effect of lovastatin, whereas selective inhibition of farnesylation had no effect. These results indicate that protein geranylgeranylation and not farnesylation is important for proper Epo signal transduction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)403-409
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology


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