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J Biol Chem. 1991 Dec 5;266(34):23428-32.

Chronic ethanol exposure increases levels of protein kinase C delta and epsilon and protein kinase C-mediated phosphorylation in cultured neural cells.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, University of California, San Francisco.


Exposure to ethanol for several days increases the number and function of dihydropyridine-sensitive Ca2+ channels in excitable tissues. In the neural cell line PC12, this process is blocked by inhibitors of protein kinase C (PKC), suggesting that PKC mediates ethanol-induced increases in Ca2+ channels. We report that treatment with 25-200 mM ethanol for 2-8 days increased PKC activity in PC12 cells and NG108-15 neuroblastoma-glioma cells. Detailed studies in PC12 cells showed that ethanol also increased phorbol ester binding and immunoreactivity to PKC delta and PKC epsilon. These changes were associated with increased PKC-mediated phosphorylation. Ethanol did not activate the enzyme directly, nor did ethanol increase levels of diacylglycerol. Ethanol-induced increases in PKC levels may promote up-regulation of Ca2+ channels, and may also regulate the expression and function of other proteins involved in cellular adaptation to ethanol.

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