Molecular genetic analysis of the regulatory and catalytic domains of protein kinase C

K. Kaibuchi, Y. Fukumoto, N. Oku, Y. Takai, K. Arai, M. Muramatsu

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We have constructed the expression plasmids harboring protein kinase C (PKC) mutant cDNAs with a series of deletions in the PKC coding region. These plasmids were transfected into COS7 cells to characterize the PKC mutants. Immunoblot analysis using the anti-PKC antibody identified proteins with the M(r) values expected from the PKC mutant cDNAs in the extracts from COS7 cells. The wild-type PKC, when expressed in COS7 cells, conferred increased phorbol ester binding activity on intact cells; but the PKC mutants with the deletion around the C1 region did not show this activity. The wild-type PKC showed protein kinase activity dependent on phospholipid, Ca2+, and phorbol ester, whereas these PKC mutants exhibited protein kinase activity independent of the activators in a cell-free system. A PKC mutant cDNA with the deletion in the C2 region gave increased phorbol ester binding activity. Protein kinase activity of this mutant was much less dependent on Ca2+ compared with the wild-type PKC. A PKC mutant cDNA with the deletion in the C3 region, conferred increased phorbol ester binding activity, but neither activator-dependent nor -independent protein kinase activity. These results indicate that elimination of the C1 region of PKC gives rise to constitutively active PKC independent of phospholipid, Ca2+, and phorbol ester and that the C1-C3 regions play distinct roles in the regulatory and catalytic function of PKC. In another series of experiments, transfection of some PKC mutant cDNAs with the deletions around the C1 region into Chinese hamster ovary and Jurkat cells activated the activator protein-1-binding element or the c-fos gene enhancer linked to the chloramphenicol acetyltransferase receptor gene in the absence of phorbol ester. Microinjection of these constructs into Xenopus oocytes induced initiation of germinal vesicle breakdown, indicating that they stimulated the PKC pathway in vivo. Thus, the phorbol ester-independent PKC mutant cDNAs could be a powerful tool to investigate the transmembrane signaling pathway mediated by PKC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13489-13496
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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