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J Protein Chem. 1998 Jan;17(1):15-27.

The naturally occurring PKC inhibitor sphingosine and tumor promoter phorbol ester potentially induce tyrosine phosphorylation/activation of oncogenic proline-directed protein kinase FA/GSK-3alpha in a common signalling pathway.

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  • 1Department of Life Sciences, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan, ROC.


When serum-starved A431 cells were treated with 200 nM phorbol ester TPA for 15 min, the cellular activity of protein kinase FA/glycogen synthase kinase-3alpha (kinase FA/GSK-3alpha) could be decreased to approximately 25% of control. Conversely, when treated with 1 microM TPA for 24 hr, the activity could be reversibly increased to approximately 200% of Control. The naturally occurring protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor sphingosine at a concentration of 27 microM could also induce activation of kinase FA/GSK-3alpha to approximately 200% of control within 60 min. Further, when cells were chronically treated with 1 microM TPA for 24 hr and then with 27 microM sphingosine for 60 min, the activity of kinase FA/GSK-3alpha could only be increased to approximately 200% of control. Furthermore, when cells were pretreated with sphingosine and then acutely treated with TPA, the acute TPA effect on kinase FA/GSK-3alpha activity could be abolished by genistein or tyrosine phosphorylation, which could be blocked by genistein or tyrosine phosphatase, but could be reversed by orthovanadate. Taken together, the results demonstrate that TPA/sphingosine induce tyrosine phosphorylation and concurrent activation of kinase FA/GSK-3alpha in a common signalling pathway. Since TPA and sphingosine are potent PKC modulators, the results further suggest a potential role of PKC in modulating tyrosine phosphorylation/activation of kinase FA/GSK-3alpha. Kinetic studies on seven subtypes of PKC further demonstrate a specific involvement of PKCE in this tyrosine phosphorylation/activation process. This provides a new mode of signal transduction between these two important serine/threonine kinases in cells.

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