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Oncogene. 2008 Feb 21;27(9):1273-80. Epub 2007 Aug 27.

Protein kinase C alpha-CARMA3 signaling axis links Ras to NF-kappa B for lysophosphatidic acid-induced urokinase plasminogen activator expression in ovarian cancer cells.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, GA 30912, USA.


We reported previously that a signaling pathway consisting of G(i)-Ras-NF-kappaB mediates lysophosphatidic acid (LPA)-induced urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) upregulation in ovarian cancer cells. However, it is not clear what signaling components link Ras to nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB for this LPA-induced event. In the present study, we found that treatment of protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitors including conventional PKC (cPKC) inhibitor Gö6976 abolished LPA-induced uPA upregulation in ovarian cancer cell lines tested, indicating the importance of cPKC activity in this LPA-induced event. Indeed, LPA stimulation led to the activation of PKCalpha and Ras-PKCalpha interaction. Although constitutively active mutants of PKCalpha (a cPKC), PKCtheta (a novel PKC (nPKC)) and PKCzeta (an atypical PKC (aPKC)) were all able to activate NF-kappaB and upregulate uPA expression, only dominant-negative PKCalpha mutant attenuated LPA-induced NF-kappaB activation and uPA upregulation. These results suggest that PKCalpha, rather than PKC isoforms in other PKC classes, participates in LPA-induced NF-kappaB activation and uPA upregulation in ovarian cancer cells. To determine the signaling components downstream of PKCalpha mediating LPA-induced uPA upregulation, we showed that forced expression of dominant-negative CARMA3 or silencing CARMA3, Bcl10 and MALT1 with specific siRNAs diminished these LPA-induced events. Furthermore, we demonstrated that PKCalpha/CARMA3 signaling axis is important in LPA-induced ovarian cancer cell in vitro invasion.

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