A neuronal cell line (NG115-401L-C3) was stimulated by mitogenic (angiotensin) and non-mitogenic (bradykinin) peptides and examined for the time course of changes in the levels of radiolabelled inositol phosphates and phospholipids. Both peptides stimulated the time-dependent production of Ins(1,4,5)P3 and related metabolites. Bradykinin caused a much larger increase in Ins(1,4,5)P3 than did angiotensin. However, both peptides stimulated similar rises in the levels of Ins(1,3,4)P3 and InsP4. Bradykinin, but not angiotensin, caused a rapid (within 2 s) fall in the levels of PtdIns(4,5)P2 and PtdIns(4)P. Serum pretreatment of the cells caused a 2-3-fold potentiation of both the responses to bradykinin and angiotensin. Although significant levels of PtdIns(3)P were detected in resting cells, neither mitogenic (angiotensin, insulin-like growth factor I, transforming growth factor beta) nor non-mitogenic (bradykinin, nerve growth factor, interleukin-1) receptor activation changed its levels, arguing against regulation of either PtdIns 3-kinase or PtdIns(3)P phosphatase. We conclude that, as judged by the levels of its product. PtdIns(3)P, the enzyme PtdIns 3-kinase is not activated. This questions the significance of this activity in the receptor-mediated initiation of DNA synthesis.

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