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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2012 Oct 5;426(4):590-5. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2012.08.132. Epub 2012 Sep 4.

PKCδ promotes etoposide-induced cell death by phosphorylating Hsp27 in HeLa cells.

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  • 1College of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, Korea University, Seoul 136-701, Republic of Korea.


We investigated the regulation of Hsp27 phosphorylation by protein kinase C δ (PKCδ) during etoposide-induced apoptosis. The phosphorylation of Hsp27 at Ser78 was temporally correlated with the proteolytic activation of PKCδ during apoptosis. Hsp27 phosphorylation was dependent on the activity of PKCδ since treatment with rottlerin, a chemical inhibitor of PKCδ, or overexpression of a PKCδ dominant negative mutant abolished the phosphorylation. In addition, recombinant PKCδ phosphorylated Hsp27 at Ser78 in vitro. Moreover, caspase-3 was specifically activated following Hsp27 phosphorylation at Ser78. Pull-down assays using a phosphomimetic Hsp27 mutant revealed that binding between Hsp27 and cytochrome c was abolished by the phosphorylation. These results suggest that Hsp27 dissociates from cytochrome c following PKCδ-mediated phosphorylation at Ser78, which allows formation of the apoptosome and stimulates apoptotic progression.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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