Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Cell Signal. 2007 Nov;19(11):2339-50. Epub 2007 Jul 27.

Ethanol induces apoptosis in hepatocytes by a pathway involving novel protein kinase C isoforms.

Author information

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Transplant Research Program, University of California, Davis Medical Center, Sacramento, CA 95817, USA.


Ethanol abuse is one of the major etiologies of cirrhosis. Ethanol has been shown to induce apoptosis via activation of oxidative stress, mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK), and tyrosine kinases. However, there is a paucity of data that examine the interplay among these molecules. In the present study we have systematically elucidated the role of novel protein kinase C isoforms (nPKC; PKCdelta and PKCepsilon) in ethanol-induced apoptosis in hepatocytes. Ethanol enhanced membrane translocation of PKCdelta and PKCepsilon, which was associated with the phosphorylation of p38MAPK, p42/44MAPK and JNK1/2, and the nuclear translocation of NF-kappaB and AP-1. This resulted in increased apoptosis in primary rat hepatocytes. Inhibition of both PKCdelta and PKCepsilon resulted in a decreased MAPK activation, decreased nuclear translocation of NF-kappaB and AP-1, and inhibition of apoptosis. In addition, ethanol activated the tyrosine phosphorylation of PKCdelta via tyrosine kinase in hepatocytes. The tyrosine phosphorylated PKCdelta was cleaved by caspase-3 and these fragments were translocated to the nucleus. Inhibition of ethanol-induced oxidative stress blocked the membrane translocation of PKCdelta and PKCepsilon, and the tyrosine phosphorylation of PKCdelta in hepatocytes. Inhibition of oxidative stress, tyrosine kinase or caspase-3 activity caused a decreased nuclear translocation of PKCdelta in response to ethanol, and was associated with less apoptosis.


These results provide a newly-described mechanism by which ethanol induces apoptosis via activation of nPKC isoforms in hepatocytes.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk