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EMBO J. Nov 15, 1996; 15(22): 6220–6230.
PMCID: PMC452445

Protein kinase D (PKD) activation in intact cells through a protein kinase C-dependent signal transduction pathway.


Protein kinase D (PKD) is a serine/threonine protein kinase that is directly stimulated in vitro by phorbol esters and diacylglycerol in the presence of phospholipids. Here, we examine the regulation of PKD in living cells. Our results demonstrate that tumour-promoting phorbol esters, membrane-permeant diacylglycerol and serum growth factors rapidly induced PKD activation in immortalized cell lines (e.g. Swiss 3T3 and Rat-1 cells), in secondary cultures of mouse embryo fibroblasts and in COS-7 cells transiently transfected with a PKD expression construct. PKD activation was maintained during cell disruption and immunopurification and was associated with an electrophoretic mobility shift and enhanced 32P incorporation into the enzyme, but was reversed by treatment with alkaline phosphatase. PKD was activated, deactivated and reactivated in response to consecutive cycles of addition and removal of PDB. PKD activation was completely abrogated by exposure of the cells to the protein kinase C inhibitors GF I and Ro 31-8220. In contrast, these compounds did not inhibit PKD activity when added directly in vitro. Co-transfection of PKD with constitutively activated mutants of PKCs showed that PKCepsilon and eta but not PKCzeta strongly induced PKD activation in COS-7 cells. Thus, our results indicate that PKD is activated in living cells through a PKC-dependent signal transduction pathway.

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