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Cell Signal. 1996 Feb;8(2):123-9.

The role of protein kinase C in activation and termination of mitogen-activated protein kinase activity in angiotensin II-stimulated rat aortic smooth-muscle cells.

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  • 1Department of Physiology & Pharmacology, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow.


Mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases are a family of serine/threonine kinases activated by both tyrosine kinase and G-protein-linked receptor agonists. In rat aorta vascular smooth-muscle cells (VSMC), vasoconstrictors, angiotension II (AII), and alpha-thrombin (alpha-thr), as well as platelet-derived growth factor beta beta (PDGF) stimulated the tyrosine phosphorylation and activation of MAP kinase in a time- and concentration-dependent manner. Pre-treatment of cells with the protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor Ro-318220, inhibited the initial increase in tyrosine phosphorylation of MAP kinase in response to vasoconstrictors, suggesting the involvement of PKC. Four isoforms of PKC were identified in VSMC by western blotting: alpha, beta, epsilon, and zeta. Downregulation of PKC alpha and PKC epsilon isoforms following chronic phorbol myristate 12, 13-acetate (PMA) pre-treatment resulted in the abolition of AII-stimulated MAP kinase activation. Selective downregulation of PKC alpha following pre-treatment with bryostatin 1 did not affect AII-stimulated MAP kinase. Preincubation of cells with Ro-318220 enhanced the activation of MAP kinase at later time points. In addition, Ro-318220 pre-treatment inhibited the induction by AII of a novel transcriptionally regulated phosphatase, MAP kinase phosphatase-1 (MKP-1). However, AII-mediated activation of MAP kinase was not prolonged by cycloheximide pre-treatment and was not maintained indefinitely by Ro-318220. These results demonstrate a specific role for the Ca(2+)-independent PKC isoform, PKC epsilon, in the activation of MAP kinase in response to vasoconstrictors, and suggest that PKC-mediated induction of MKP-1 plays no role in the termination of transiently activated MAP kinase.

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