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Cell Growth Differ. 1999 Mar;10(3):183-91.

Protein kinase C-epsilon plays a role in neurite outgrowth in response to epidermal growth factor and nerve growth factor in PC12 cells.

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  • 1Molecular Mechanisms of Tumor Promotion Section, National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


In this study, we examined the role of specific protein kinase C (PKC) isoforms in the differentiation of PC12 cells in response to nerve growth factor (NGF) and epidermal growth factor (EGF). PC12 cells express PKC-alpha, -beta, -gamma, -delta, -epsilon, -mu, and -zeta. For PKC-delta, -epsilon, and -zeta, NGF and EGF exerted differential effects on translocation. Unlike overexpression of PKC-alpha and -delta, overexpression of PKC-epsilon caused enhanced neurite outgrowth in response to NGF. In the PKC-epsilon-overexpressing cells, EGF also dramatically induced neurite outgrowth, arrested cell proliferation, and induced a sustained phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), in contrast to its mitogenic effects on control cells or cells overexpressing PKC-alpha and -delta. The induction of neurite outgrowth by EGF was inhibited by the MAPK kinase inhibitor PD95098. In cells overexpressing a PKC-epsilon dominant negative mutant, NGF induced reduced neurite outgrowth and a more transient phosphorylation of MAPK than in controls. Our results suggest an important role for PKC-epsilon in neurite outgrowth in PC12 cells, probably via activation of the MAPK pathway.

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