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Sustained muscle contraction induced by agonists, growth factors, and Ca(2+) mediated by distinct PKC isozymes.

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  • 1Departments of Medicine and Physiology, Medical College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond 23298, USA.


The role of protein kinase C (PKC) in sustained contraction was examined in intestinal circular and longitudinal muscle cells. Initial contraction induced by agonists (CCK-8 and neuromedin C) was abolished by 1) inhibitors of Ca(2+) mobilization (neomycin and dimethyleicosadienoic acid), 2) calmidazolium, and 3) myosin light chain (MLC) kinase (MLCK) inhibitor KT-5926. In contrast, sustained contraction was not affected by these inhibitors but was abolished by 1) the PKC inhibitors chelerythrine and calphostin C, 2) PKC-epsilon antibody, and 3) a pseudosubstrate PKC-epsilon inhibitor. GDPbetaS abolished both initial and sustained contraction, whereas a Galpha(q/11) antibody inhibited only initial contraction, implying that sustained contraction was dependent on activation of a distinct G protein. Sustained contraction induced by epidermal growth factor was inhibited by calphostin C, PKC-alpha,beta,gamma antibody, and a pseudosubstrate PKC-alpha inhibitor. Ca(2+) (0.4 microM) induced an initial contraction in permeabilized muscle cells that was blocked by calmodulin and MLCK inhibitors and a sustained contraction that was blocked by calphostin C and a PKC-alpha,beta,gamma antibody. Thus initial contraction induced by Ca(2+), agonists, and growth factors is mediated by MLCK, whereas sustained contraction is mediated by specific Ca(2+)-dependent and -independent PKC isozymes. G protein-coupled receptors are linked to PKC activation via distinct G proteins.

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