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Biochem J. 1987 Sep 1;246(2):489-93.

A re-assessment of the role of protein kinase C in glucose-stimulated insulin secretion.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, Kings College London, University of London, U.K.


Isolated rat islets of Langerhans which had been pretreated with 200 nM-phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) for 20-24 h, a treatment reported in other cell types to deplete cells of protein kinase C activity, were found not to contain detectable Ca2+/phospholipid-dependent protein kinase activity. These islets did not secrete insulin in response to a subsequent exposure to PMA (0.1 or 1 microM) during a 30 min incubation, although insulin secretion could be stimulated by 20 mM-glucose, a response which was enhanced by 20 microM-forskolin. PMA-pretreated islets that had been permeabilized by high-voltage discharge showed unimpaired secretory responses to an increase in Ca2+ concentration, cyclic AMP and forskolin. These results suggest that (i) pretreatment of islets with tumour-promoting phorbol esters may be a useful means of investigating the role of protein kinase C in stimulus-secretion coupling in the pancreatic beta-cell and (ii) protein kinase C may not play an essential role in glucose-induced insulin secretion.

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