Protein kinase C (PKC) has been a tantalizing target for drug discovery ever since it was first identified as the receptor for the tumor promoter phorbol ester in 19821. Although initial therapeutic efforts focused on cancer, additional diseases, including diabetic complications, heart failure, myocardial infarction, pain and bipolar disease were targeted as researchers developed a better understanding of the roles that PKC’s eight conventional and novel isozymes play in health and disease. Unfortunately, both academic and pharmaceutical efforts have yet to result in the approval of a single new drug that specifically targets PKC. Why does PKC remain an elusive drug target? This review will provide a short account of some of the efforts, challenges and opportunities in developing PKC modulators to address unmet clinical needs.
Heart failure afflicts ~5 million people and causes ~300,000 deaths a year in the United States alone. Heart failure is defined as a deficiency in the ability of the heart to pump sufficient blood in response to systemic demands, which results in fatigue, dyspnea, and/or edema. Identifying new therapeutic targets is a major focus of current research in the field. We and others have identified critical roles for protein kinase C (PKC) family members in programming aspects of heart failure pathogenesis. More specifically, mechanistic data have emerged over the past 6–7 years that directly implicate PKCα, a conventional PKC family member, as a nodal regulator of heart failure propensity. Indeed, deletion of the PKCα gene in mice, or its inhibition in rodents with drugs or a dominant negative mutant and/or inhibitory peptide, have shown dramatic protective effects that antagonize the development of heart failure. This review will weigh all the evidence implicating PKCα as a novel therapeutic target to consider for the treatment of heart failure.
Signaling networks play crucial roles in the changes leading to malignancy. In melanoma, increased Wnt5A expression increases melanoma cell motility via activation of Protein Kinase C (PKC). PKC isoforms comprise a family of serine/threonine kinases that are involved in the transduction of signals for cell proliferation, differentiation and metastasis. The important role of PKC in processes leading to carcinogenesis and tumor cell invasion would render PKC a suitable target for cancer therapy, if not for its ubiquitous nature. Thus, targeting more tumor-specific pathways leading to PKC activation, such as the non-canonical Wnt pathway, may prove to be the key to targeting PKC in cancer. Here we summarize the current understanding of the Wnt/Calcium pathway and discuss methods of detecting activated/phosphorylated PKC as a result of Wnt signaling in malignant melanoma. We have shown that overexpression of Wnt5A results in the activation of PKC, while inhibition of Wnt5A via siRNA treatment results in its inactivation. In addition, the use of PKC activators and inhibitors has allowed us to study Wnt5A effects on downstream genes that may prove to be key targets for molecular therapy.
melanoma; Wnt5A; Protein Kinase C (PKC)
Cardiac hypertrophy is a complex adaptive response to mechanical and neurohumoral stimuli and under continual stressor, it contributes to maladaptive responses, heart failure and death. Protein kinase C (PKC) and several other kinases play a role in the maladaptative cardiac responses, including cardiomyocyte hypertrophy, myocardial fibrosis and inflammation. Identifying specific therapies that regulate these kinases is a major focus of current research. PKC, a family of serine/threonine kinases, has emerged as potential mediators of hypertrophic stimuli associated with neurohumoral hyperactivity in heart failure. In this review, we describe the role of PKC isozymes that are involved in cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure.
PKC signaling pathways; cardiac remodeling; heart failure
Protein kinase C (PKC) is a family of serine/threonine kinases that contains more than 10 isozymes. Evidence suggests that PKC may play important roles in pain modulation, but the isozyme-specific effects of PKC on different aspects of pain modulation are not fully understood. We hypothesize that different PKC isozymes play different roles in different aspects of pain modulation.
The nociceptive behaviors of mice with deletion of PKC α, β, γ, or δ in multiple pain models were compared with their respective wild type littermates. Also, the morphine analgesia and the development of morphine tolerance in mice with deletion of PKC γ were compared with their respective wild type littermates.
Thermal hyperalgesia induced by complete Freund’s adjuvant injection was significantly attenuated by the deletion of PKC β, γ or δ, but not PKC α. Deletion of PKC γ significantly attenuated neuropathic mechanical allodynia induced by spared nerve injury, whereas deletion of PKC α enhanced this allodynia. Baseline thermal and mechanical sensitivity, nociceptive behaviors induced by formalin, mechanical allodynia induced by complete Freund’s adjuvant injection, were not altered by deletion of PKC α, β, γ or δ. Finally, morphine analgesia and the development of morphine tolerance were not altered in PKC γ-deficient mice.
PKC plays isozyme-specific effects in pain modulation.
The protein kinase C (PKC) family is a major transducer of several intracellular pathways. In confirmation of this important role, PKCs exhibit high molecular heterogeneity, because they occur in at least 10 different isoforms differing in biochemical properties and sensitivity to activators. In this report we focused on the ability of different redox agents to induce modification of intracellular distribution of specific PKC isoforms in HeLa cells. To this end we utilized a panel of green fluorescent protein (GFP) chimeras and a high-speed digital imaging system. We observed a remarkable complexity of PKC signalling patterns occurring during redox stress with marked differences among PKC isoforms also belonging to the same subgroup. Moreover our results suggest that modifications of the intracellular redox state can modulate the responsiveness of specific PKC isoforms and, in turn, change the sensitivity of the different isoforms to cell stimulation.
A link between T cell proliferation and the protein kinase C (PKC) family of serine/threonine kinases has been recognized for about 30 years. However, despite the wealth of information on PKC-mediated control of, T cell activation, understanding of the effects of PKCs on the cell cycle machinery in this cell type remains limited. Studies in other systems have revealed important cell cycle-specific effects of PKC signaling that can either positively or negatively impact proliferation. The outcome of PKC activation is highly context-dependent, with the precise cell cycle target(s) and overall effects determined by the specific isozyme involved, the timing of PKC activation, the cell type, and the signaling environment. Although PKCs can regulate all stages of the cell cycle, they appear to predominantly affect G0/G1 and G2. PKCs can modulate multiple cell cycle regulatory molecules, including cyclins, cyclin-dependent kinases (cdks), cdk inhibitors and cdc25 phosphatases; however, evidence points to Cip/Kip cdk inhibitors and D-type cyclins as key mediators of PKC-regulated cell cycle-specific effects. Several PKC isozymes can target Cip/Kip proteins to control G0/G1 → S and/or G2 → M transit, while effects on D-type cyclins regulate entry into and progression through G1. Analysis of PKC signaling in T cells has largely focused on its roles in T cell activation; thus, observed cell cycle effects are mainly positive. A prominent role is emerging for PKCθ, with non-redundant functions of other isozymes also described. Additional evidence points to PKCδ as a negative regulator of the cell cycle in these cells. As in other cell types, context-dependent effects of individual isozymes have been noted in T cells, and Cip/Kip cdk inhibitors and D-type cyclins appear to be major PKC targets. Future studies are anticipated to take advantage of the similarities between these various systems to enhance understanding of PKC-mediated cell cycle regulation in T cells.
protein kinase C; signal transduction; T cell activation; cell cycle; cyclin; cyclin-dependent kinase; cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor
The protein kinase C (PKC) is a family of serine/threonine kinases
that are key regulatory enzymes involved in growth, differentiation,
cytoskeletal reorganization, tumor promotion, and migration. We
investigated the functional involvement of PKC isotypes and of
E-cadherin in the regulation of the locomotion of six human
colon-adenocarcinoma cell lines. The different levels of the PKC α
and the E-cadherin expression have predictable implications in the
spontaneous locomotory activity. With the use of PKC α–specific
inhibitors (safingol, Go6976) as well as the PKC δ–specific
inhibitor rottlerin, we showed that only PKC α plays a major role in
the regulation of tumor cell migration. The results were verified by
knocking out the translation of PKC isozymes with the use of an
antisense oligonucleotide strategy. After stimulation with phorbol
ester we observed a translocation and a colocalization of the activated
PKC α at the plasma membrane to the surrounding extracellular matrix.
Furthermore, we investigated the functional involvement of E-cadherin
in the locomotion with the use of a blocking antibody. A high level of
PKC α expression together with a low E-cadherin expression was
strongly related to a high migratory activity of the colon carcinoma
cells. This correlation was independent of the differentiation grade of
the tumor cell lines.
Diabetes mellitus counts as a major risk factor for developing atherosclerosis. The activation of protein kinase C (PKC) is commonly known to take a pivotal part in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, though the influence of specific PKC isozymes remains unclear. There is evidence from large clinical trials suggesting excessive neurohumoral stimulation, amongst other pathways leading to PKC activation, as a central mechanism in the pathogenesis of diabetic heart disease. The present study was therefore designed to determine the role of Gq-protein signalling via Gα11 in diabetes for the expression of PKC isozymes in the coronary vessels.
The role of Gα11 in diabetes was examined in knockout mice with global deletion of Gα11 compared to wildtype controls. An experimental type 1-diabetes was induced in both groups by injection of streptozotocin. Expression and localization of the PKC isozymes α, βII, δ, ε, and ζ was examined by quantitative immunohistochemistry.
8 weeks after induction of diabetes a diminished expression of PKC ε was observed in wildtype animals. This alteration was not seen in Gα11 knockout animals, however, these mice showed a diminished expression of PKCζ. Direct comparison of wildtype and knockout control animals revealed a diminished expression of PKC δ and ε in Gα11 knockout animals.
The present study shows that expression of the nPKCs δ and ε in coronary vessels is under control of the g-protein Gα11. The reduced expression of PKC ζ that we observed in coronary arteries from Gα11-knockout mice compared to wildtype controls upon induction of diabetes could reduce apoptosis and promote plaque stability. These findings suggest a mechanism that may in part underlie the therapeutic benefit of RAS inhibition on cardiovascular endpoints in diabetic patients.
Heart failure (HF) is a chronic syndrome in which pathological cardiac remodeling is an integral part of the disease and mast cell (MC) degranulation-derived mediators have been suggested to play a role in its progression. Protein kinase C (PKC) signaling is a key event in the signal transduction pathway of MC degranulation. We recently found that inhibition of εPKC slows down the progression of hypertension-induced HF in salt-sensitive Dahl rats fed a high-salt diet. We therefore determined whether εPKC inhibition affects MC degranulation in this model. Six week-old male Dahl rats were fed with a high-salt diet to induce systemic hypertension, which resulted in concentric left ventricular hypertrophy at the age of 11 weeks, followed by myocardial dilatation and HF at the age of 17 weeks. We administered εV1-2 an εPKC-selective inhibitor peptide (3 mg/Kg/day), δV1-1, a δPKC-selective inhibitor peptide (3 mg/Kg/day), TAT (negative control; at equimolar concentration; 1.6 mg/Kg/day) or olmesartan (angiotensin receptor blocker [ARB] as a positive control; 3mg/Kg/day) between 11 weeks and 17 weeks. Treatment with εV1-2 attenuated cardiac MC degranulation without affecting MC density, myocardial fibrosis, microvessel patency, vascular thickening and cardiac inflammation in comparison to TAT- or δV1-1-treatment. Treatment with ARB also attenuated MC degranulation and cardiac remodeling, but to a lesser extent when compared to εV1-2. Finally, εV1-2 treatment inhibited MC degranulation in isolated peritoneal MCs. Together, our data suggest that εPKC inhibition attenuates pathological remodeling in hypertension-induced HF, at least in part, by preventing cardiac MC degranulation.
Mast cell degranulation; protein kinase C; PKC-selective inhibitor peptide; cardiac remodeling; heart failure
Vascular restenosis, an overreaction of biological response to injury, is initialized by thrombosis and inflammation. This response is characterized by increased smooth muscle cell migration and proliferation. Available pharmacological treatments include anticoagulants, antiplatelet agents, immunosuppressants and antiproliferation agents. Protein kinase C (PKC), a large family of serine/threonine kinases, has been shown to participate in various pathological stages of restenosis. Consequently, PKC inhibitors are expected to exert a wide range of pharmacological activities therapeutically beneficial for restenosis. In this review, the roles of PKC isozymes in platelets, leukocytes, endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells are discussed, with emphasis given to smooth muscle cells. We will describe cellular and animal studies assessing prevention of restenosis with PKC inhibitors, particularly targeting -alpha, -beta, -delta and -zeta isozymes. The delivery strategy, efficacy and safety of such PKC regulators will also be discussed.
protein kinase C; smooth muscle cell; migration; proliferation; vascular restenosis
The tumor promoters phorbol esters are thought to induce changes in cell growth and gene expression by direct activation of protein kinase C (PKC). However, the molecular mechanisms by which PKC molecules transduce signals into the cell nucleus are unknown. In this study, we provide evidence for a direct target for phorbol esters in the nucleus. We demonstrate that the new PKC-related family member, PKC-L, recently isolated by us, is expressed specifically in the cell nucleus. Localization of PKC-L in the cell nucleus is shown both by immunofluorescence staining and by subcellular fractionation experiments of several human cell lines, including the human epidermoid carcinoma line A431. Treatment of these cells by phorbol esters does not induce the down-regulation of PKC-L, in contrast to their effect on classical PKC family members. This is the only PKC isoenzyme described so far that resides permanently and specifically in the cell nucleus. PKC-L may function as an important link in tumor promoting, e.g., as a nuclear regulator of gene expression that changes the phosphorylation state of transcriptional components such as the AP-1 complex.
The catalytic activity and intracellular localization of protein kinase C (PKC) are both highly regulated in vivo. This family of kinases contains conserved regulatory motifs, i.e., the C1, C2, and HR1 domains, which target PKC isoforms to specific subcellular compartments and restrict their activity spatially. Saccharomyces cerevisiae contains a single PKC isozyme, Pkc1p, which contains all of the regulatory motifs found in mammalian PKCs. Pkc1p localizes to sites of polarized growth, consistent with its main function in maintaining cell integrity. We dissected the molecular basis of Pkc1p localization by expressing each of its domains individually and in combinations as green fluorescent protein fusions. We find that the Rho1p-binding domains, HR1 and C1, are responsible for targeting Pkc1p to the bud tip and cell periphery, respectively. We demonstrate that Pkc1p activity is required for its normal localization to the bud neck, which also depends on the integrity of the septin ring. In addition, we show for the first time that yeast protein kinase C can accumulate in the nucleus, and we identify a nuclear exit signal as well as nuclear localization signals within the Pkc1p sequence. Thus, we propose that Pkc1p shuttles in and out of the nucleus and consequently has access to nuclear substrates. Surprisingly, we find that deletion of the HR1 domain results in Pkc1p localization to the mitotic spindle and that the C2 domain is responsible for this targeting. This novel nuclear and spindle localization of Pkc1p may provide a molecular explanation for previous observations that suggest a role for Pkc1p in regulating microtubule function.
Isoforms of protein kinase C (PKC) have been shown to modulate some cellular responses such as pathological secretion and generation of inflammatory mediators during acute pancreatitis (AP). We propose that PKC also participates in premature zymogen activation within the pancreatic acinar cell, a key event in the initiation of AP. This hypothesis was examined in in vivo and cellular models of caerulein-induced AP using PKC activators and inhibitors. Phorbol ester, 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA, 200 nM), a known activator of PKC, enhanced zymogen activation at both 0.1 nM and 100 nM caerulein, concentrations which mimic physiological and supraphysiological effects of the hormone cholecystokinin, respectively, in preparations of pancreatic acinar cells. Isoform-specific PKC inhibitors for PKC-δ and PKC-ε reduced supraphysiological caerulein-induced zymogen activation. Using a cell-free reconstitution system, we showed that inhibition of PKC-δ and -ε, reduced zymogen activation in both zymogen granule-enriched and microsomal fractions. In dispersed acinar cells, 100 nM caerulein stimulation caused PKC-δ and -ε isoform translocation to microsomal membranes using cell fractionation and immunoblot analysis. PKC translocation was confirmed with in vivo studies and immunofluorescence microscopy in pancreatic tissues from rats treated with or without 100 nM caerulein. PKC-ε redistributed from an apical to a supranuclear region following caerulein administration. The signal for PKC-ε overlapped with granule membrane protein, GRAMP-92, an endosomal/lysosomal marker, in a supranuclear region where zymogen activation takes place. These results indicate that PKC-δ and -ε isoforms translocate to specific acinar cell compartments and modulate zymogen activation.
translocation; PKC activator phorbol ester; PKC inhibitor
Atypical protein kinase C (PKC) isoforms play important roles in many neural processes, including synaptic plasticity and neurodegenerative diseases. Although atypical PKCs are expressed throughout the brain, there are no reports concerning their expression in central neural regions associated with respiratory motor control. Therefore, we explored the neuroanatomical distribution of atypical PKCs in identified phrenic motor neurons, a motor pool that plays a key role in breathing. Diaphragm injections of cholera toxin B were used to retrogradely label and identify phrenic motor neurons; immunohistochemistry was used to localize atypical PKCs in and near labeled motor neurons (i.e. the phrenic motor nucleus). Atypical PKC expression in the phrenic motor nucleus appears specific to neurons; aPKC expression could not be detected in adjacent astrocytes or microglia. Strong atypical PKC labeling was observed within cholera toxin B labeled phrenic motor neurons. Documenting the expression of atypical PKCs in phrenic motor neurons provides a framework within which to assess their role in respiratory motor control, including novel forms of respiratory plasticity known to occur in this region.
spinal cord; breathing; ventilatory control; astrocytes; microglia; cholera toxin
In most animals, multiple genes encode protein kinase C (PKC) proteins. Pharmacological studies have revealed numerous roles for this protein family, yet the in vivo roles of specific PKC proteins and the functional targets of PKC activation are poorly understood. We find that in C. elegans, two PKC genes, pkc-1 and tpa-1, are required for mechanosensory response; the role of the nPKCε/η ortholog, pkc-1, was examined in detail. pkc-1 function is required for response to nose touch in adult C. elegans and pkc-1 likely acts in the interneurons that regulate locomotion which are direct synaptic targets of mechanosensory neurons. Previous studies have suggested numerous possible targets of pkc-1; our analysis indicates that pkc-1 may act via the ERK/MAPK pathway. We find that ERK/MAPK pathway function is required for mechanosensory response in C. elegans and that at least one component of this pathway, lin-45 Raf, acts in interneurons of the mechanosensory circuit. Genetic analysis indicates that these lin-45 and pkc-1 act together to regulate nose touch response. Thus, these results functionally link two conserved signaling pathways in adult C. elegans neurons and define distinct roles for PKC genes in vivo.
C. elegans; PKC-1; protein kinase C; mechanosensation; MAPK; behavior; nose touch
Protein-protein interactions sequester enzymes close to their substrates. Protein kinase C (PKC) is one example of a ubiquitous signaling molecule with effects that are dependent upon localization. Short peptides derived from interaction sites between each PKC isozyme and its receptor for activated C kinase act as highly specific inhibitors and have become available as selective drugs in basic research and animal models of human diseases, such as myocardial infarction and hyperglycemia. Whereas the earlier inhibitory peptides are highly specific, we believe that peptides targeting additional interactions between PKC and selective substrates will generate even more selective tools that regulate different functions of individual isozymes. Here, we discuss the methodologies and applications for identifying selective regulators of PKC.
A variety of molecules are reported to be involved in chronic pain. This review outlines the specifics of protein kinase C (PKC), its isoforms and their role in modulating thermo-sensitive transient receptor potential (TRP) channels TRPV1-4, TRPM8, and TRPA1. Anatomically, PKC and thermo-sensitive TRPs are co-expressed in cell bodies of nociceptive dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons, which are used as physiological correlates of peripheral and central projections involved in pain transmission. In the past decade, modulation of painful heat-sensitive TRPV1 by PKC has received the most attention. Recently, PKC modulation of other newly discovered thermo-sensitive pain-mediating TRPs has come into focus. Such modulation may occur under conditions of chronic pain resulting from nerve damage or inflammation. Since thermo-TRPs are primary detectors of acute pain stimuli, their modulation by PKC can severely alter their function, resulting in chronic pain. Comprehensive knowledge of pain signaling involving interaction of specific isoforms of PKC with specific thermo-sensitive TRP channels is incomplete. Such information is necessary to dissect out modality specific mechanisms to better manage the complex polymodal nature of chronic pain. This review is an attempt to update the readers on current knowledge of PKC modulation of thermo-sensitive TRPs and highlight implications of such modulation for pain signaling
Analgesia; transient receptor potential channels; protein kinase C; Anti-inflammatory; GPCR
Cardiac excitability and electrical activity are determined by the sum of individual ion channels, gap junctions and exchanger activities. Electrophysiological remodeling during heart disease involves changes in membrane properties of cardiomyocytes and is related to higher prevalence of arrhythmia-associated morbidity and mortality. Pharmacological and genetic manipulation of cardiac cells as well as animal models of cardiovascular diseases are used to identity changes in electrophysiological properties and the molecular mechanisms associated with the disease. Protein kinase C (PKC) and several other kinases play a pivotal role in cardiac electrophysiological remodeling. Therefore, identifying specific therapies that regulate these kinases is the main focus of current research. PKC, a family of serine/threonine kinases, has been implicated as potential signaling nodes associated with biochemical and biophysical stress in cardiovascular diseases. Thus, the role of PKC isozymes in regulating cardiac excitability has been a subject of great attention. In this review, we describe the role of PKC isozymes that are involved in cardiac excitability and discuss both genetic and pharmacological tools that were used, their attributes and limitations. Selective and effective pharmacological interventions to normalize cardiac electrical activities and correct cardiac arrhythmias will be of great clinical benefit.
Phorbol ester treatment of quiescent Swiss 3T3 cells leads to cell proliferation, a response thought to be mediated by protein kinase C (PKC), the major cellular receptor for this class of agents. We demonstrate here that this proliferation is dependent on the activation of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase/mitogen-activated protein kinase (ERK/MAPK) cascade. It is shown that dominant-negative PKC-α inhibits stimulation of the ERK/MAPK pathway by phorbol esters in Cos-7 cells, demonstrating a role for PKC in this activation. To assess the potential specificity of PKC isotypes mediating this process, constitutively active mutants of six PKC isotypes (α, β1, δ, ɛ, η, and ζ) were employed. Transient transfection of these PKC mutants into Cos-7 cells showed that members of all three groups of PKC (conventional, novel, and atypical) are able to activate p42 MAPK as well as its immediate upstream activator, the MAPK/ERK kinase MEK-1. At the level of Raf, the kinase that phosphorylates MEK-1, the activation cascade diverges; while conventional and novel PKCs (isotypes α and η) are potent activators of c-Raf1, atypical PKC-ζ cannot increase c-Raf1 activity, stimulating MEK by an independent mechanism. Stimulation of c-Raf1 by PKC-α and PKC-η was abrogated for RafCAAX, which is a membrane-localized, partially active form of c-Raf1. We further established that activation of Raf is independent of phosphorylation at serine residues 259 and 499. In addition to activation, we describe a novel Raf desensitization induced by PKC-α, which acts to prevent further Raf stimulation by growth factors. The results thus demonstrate a necessary role for PKC and p42 MAPK activation in 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate induced mitogenesis and provide evidence for multiple PKC controls acting on this MAPK cascade.
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are a byproduct of the normal metabolism of oxygen and have important roles in cell signalling and homeostasis. An imbalance between ROS production and the cellular antioxidant defence system leads to oxidative stress. Environmental factors and genetic interactions play key roles in oxidative stress mediated pathologies. In this paper, we focus on cardiovascular diseases and obesity, disorders strongly related to each other; in which oxidative stress plays a fundamental role. We provide evidence of the key role played by p66Shc protein and protein kinase C (PKC) in these pathologies by their intracellular regulation of redox balance and oxidative stress levels. Additionally, we discuss possible therapeutic strategies aimed at attenuating the oxidative damage in these diseases.
The protein kinase C (PKC) and the cAMP-dependent kinase (protein kinase A; PKA) pathways are known to play important roles in behavioral plasticity and learning in the nervous systems of a wide variety of species across phyla. We briefly review the members of the PKC and PKA family and focus on the evolution of the immediate upstream activators of PKC and PKA i.e., phospholipase C (PLC) and adenylyl cyclase (AC), and their conservation in gastropod mollusks, taking advantage of the recent assembly of the Aplysia californica and Lottia gigantea genomes. The diversity of PLC and AC family members present in mollusks suggests a multitude of possible mechanisms to activate PKA and PKC; we briefly discuss the relevance of these pathways to the known physiological activation of these kinases in Aplysia neurons during plasticity and learning. These multiple mechanisms of activation provide the gastropod nervous system with tremendous flexibility for implementing neuromodulatory responses to both neuronal activity and extracellular signals.
Phospholipase C; Adenylate cyclase; Signal transduction; Learning and memory; Serotonin; Synaptic plasticity; Protein kinase A; Aplysia
Protein kinase C (PKC)-θ is a serine/threonine kinase belonging to the calcium-independent novel PKC subfamily; its expression is restricted to certain tissues and cell types, including T cells. The signals delivered from T cell receptor (TCR) and CD28 costimulatory molecules trigger PKC-θ catalytic activation and membrane translocation to the immunological synapse, leading to activation of NF-κB, AP-1, and NF-AT. These transcription factors are important for T cell survival, activation, and differentiation. Phosphorylation of PKC-θ at multiple Ser/Thr/Tyr residues is induced in T cells during TCR signaling. Some phosphorylation sites play critical roles in the regulation of PKC-θ function and downstream signaling. The regulation mechanisms for PKC-θ phosphorylation sites are now being revealed. In this review, we discuss the current understanding of the regulation of PKC-θ function by phosphorylation during TCR signaling.
PKC-θ; phosphorylation; TCR signaling
Protein Kinase C (PKC) is a family of serine/threonine-isozymes that are involved in many signaling events in normal and disease states. Previous studies from our lab have demonstrated that εPKC plays a pivotal role in neuroprotection induced by ischemic preconditioning. However, the role of εPKC during and after brain ischemia is not clearly defined. Therefore, in the present study, we tested the hypothesis that activation of εPKC during an ischemic event is neuroprotective. Furthermore, other studies have demonstrated that εPKC mediates cerebral ischemic tolerance in the rat brain by decreasing vascular tone. Thus, we also tested the effects of εPKC activation during ischemia on cerebral blood flow (CBF). We found that ψε-Receptors for activated C kinase (RACK), a εPKC-selective peptide activator, injected intravenously 30 minutes before induction of global cerebral ischemia conferred neuroprotection in the CA1 region of the rat hippocampus. Moreover, measurements of CBF before, during and after cerebral ischemia revealed a significant reduction in the reperfusion phase of rats pretreated with ψεRACK compared to Tat peptide (vehicle). Our results suggest that εPKC can protect the rat brain against ischemic damage by regulating CBF. Thus, εPKC may be one of the treatment modalities against ischemic injury.
Ischemia; epsilon Protein Kinase C; Cerebral Blood Flow; Neuroprotection
We report that herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) infection leads to the recruitment of protein kinase C (PKC) to the nuclear rim. In HEp-2 cells, PKC recruitment to the nuclear rim was initiated between 8 h and 12 h postinfection. PKCδ, a proapoptotic kinase, was completely recruited to the nuclear rim upon infection with HSV-1. PKCα was less dramatically relocalized mostly at the nuclear rim upon infection, although some PKCα remained in the cytoplasm. PKCζ-specific immunofluorescence was not significantly relocated to the nuclear rim. The UL34 and UL31 proteins, as well as their association, were each required for PKC recruitment to the nuclear rim. The HSV-1 US3 protein product, a kinase which regulates the phosphorylation state and localization of UL34, was not required for PKC recruitment to the nuclear rim; however, it was required for proper localization along the nuclear rim, as PKC appeared unevenly distributed along the nuclear rim of cells infected with US3 null and kinase-dead mutants. HSV-1 infection induced the phosphorylation of both lamin B and PKC. Elevated lamin B phosphorylation in HSV-1-infected cells was partially reduced by inhibitors of PKC. The data suggest a model in which kinases that normally disassemble the nuclear lamina during apoptosis are recruited to the nuclear membrane through functions requiring UL31 and UL34. We hypothesize that the recruitment of PKC functions to phosphorylate lamin B to help modify the nuclear lamina and promote budding of nucleocapsids at the inner nuclear membrane.