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J Biol Chem. 2001 Apr 27;276(17):13838-46. Epub 2001 Jan 29.

Activation of protein kinase A and atypical protein kinase C by A(2A) adenosine receptors antagonizes apoptosis due to serum deprivation in PC12 cells.

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  • 1Division of Neuroscience, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taipei 11529, Taiwan, Republic of China.


We found in the present study that stimulation of A(2A) adenosine receptors (A(2A)-R) prevents apoptosis in PC12 cells. This A(2A)-protective effect was blocked by protein kinase A (PKA) inhibitors and was not observed in a PKA-deficient PC12 variant. Stimulation of PKA also prevented apoptosis, suggesting that PKA is required for the protective effect of A(2A)-R. A general PKC inhibitor, but not down-regulation of conventional and novel PKCs, readily blocked the protective effect of A(2A)-R stimulation and PKA activation, suggesting that atypical PKCs (aPKCs) serve a critical role downstream of PKA. Consistent with this hypothesis, stimulation of A(2A)-R or PKA enhanced nuclear aPKC activity. In addition, the A(2A)-protective effect was blocked by a specific inhibitor of one aPKC, PKCzeta, whereas overexpression of a dominant-positive PKCzeta enhanced survival. In contrast, inhibitors of MAP kinase and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase did not modulate the A(2A)-protective effect. Dominant-negative Akt also did not alter the A(2A)-protective effect, whereas it significantly reduced the protective action of nerve growth factor. Collectively, these data suggest that aPKCs can function downstream of PKA to mediate the A(2A)-R-promoted survival of PC12 cells. Furthermore, the results indicate that different extracellular stimuli can employ distinct signaling pathways to protect against apoptosis induced by the same insult.

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