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J Biol Chem. 2003 Sep 5;278(36):34709-16. Epub 2003 Jun 6.

Roles of specific isoforms of protein kinase C in the transcriptional control of cyclin D1 and related genes.

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  • 1Department of Medicine and Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, College of Physicians & Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, New York 10032, USA.


Although protein kinase C (PKC) has been implicated in cell cycle progression, cell proliferation, and tumor promotion, the precise roles of specific isoforms in these processes is not clear. Therefore, we constructed and analyzed a series of expression vectors that encode hemagglutinin-tagged wild type (WT), constitutively active mutants (Delta NPS and CAT), and dominant negative mutants of PKCs alpha, beta 1, beta 2, gamma, delta, epsilon, eta, zeta, and iota. Cyclin D1 promoter reporter assays done in serum-starved NIH3T3 cells indicated that the constitutively active mutants of PKC-alpha and PKC-epsilon were the most potent activators of this reporter, whereas the constitutively active mutant of PKC-delta inhibited its activity. Transient transfection studies with a series of 5'-deleted cyclin D1 promoter constructs showed that the proximal 964-base region, which contains AP-1, SP1, and CRE enhancer elements, is required for activation of the cyclin D1 promoter by PKC-alpha. Deletion of the AP-1 enhancer element located at position -954 upstream from the initiation site abolished PKC-alpha-dependent activation of cyclin D1 expression. Deletion of the SP1 or CRE enhancer elements did not have any effect. A dominant negative mutant of c-Jun inhibited activation of the cyclin D1 promoter in a concentration-dependent manner, providing further evidence that AP-1 activity is required for activation of the cyclin D1 promoter by PKC-alpha and PKC-epsilon. The constitutively active mutants of PKC-alpha and PKC-epsilon also activated c-fos, c-jun, and cyclin E promoter activity. Furthermore, NIH3T3 cells that stably express the constitutively active mutants of PKC-alpha or PKC-epsilon displayed increased expression of endogenous cyclins D1 and E and faster growth rates. These results provide evidence that the activation of PKC-alpha or PKC-epsilon in mouse fibroblasts can play an important role in enhancing cell cycle progression and cell proliferation.

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