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Mol Pharmacol. 1987 Oct;32(4):488-96.

Activators of protein kinase C and cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase regulate intracellular calcium levels through distinct mechanisms in mouse anterior pituitary tumor cells.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia 19104.


The effects of the protein kinase C activator, phorbol myristate acetate (PMA), on cytosolic calcium levels and adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) release from the mouse anterior pituitary tumor cell line, AtT-20, were compared to those induced by the hormone, corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), a stimulant of cAMP-dependent protein kinase activity. Cytosolic calcium levels were measured using the fluorescence probe Quin 2. PMA induced a time- and concentration-dependent rise in cytosolic calcium levels and ACTH release from AtT-20 cells that was blocked by verapamil and nifedipine, antagonists of voltage-regulated calcium channels, and tetraethylammonium (TEA), a K+ channel antagonist. The inactive phorbol ester, 4-phorbol 12,13-didecanoate, did not alter cytosolic calcium levels or ACTH release. Several minutes after the initial stimulation of calcium influx by PMA, cytosolic calcium levels returned to basal levels despite the continued presence of the phorbol ester. A short pretreatment (2-4 min) of AtT-20 cells with PMA abolished the ability of K+, CRF, and forskolin to raise intracellular calcium levels. These findings indicate that phorbol esters induce a secondary inhibition of calcium influx after an initial stimulation. In contrast to the effects of PMA, CRF induced a sustained rise in cytosolic calcium levels and did not reduce the subsequent stimulation of calcium influx by K+ or PMA. CRF-stimulated calcium influx was blocked by verapamil but not TEA. The ability of CRF to elevate cytosolic calcium levels was mediated by cAMP-dependent protein kinase because the insertion of a synthetic peptide inhibitor of cAMP-dependent protein kinase activity into AtT-20 cells attenuated the ability of CRF and forskolin but not PMA to raise cytosolic calcium levels. The results suggest that activators of protein kinase C and cAMP-dependent protein kinase regulate intracellular calcium levels in AtT-20 cells through different mechanisms.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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