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J Biol Chem. 2005 Jun 10;280(23):22497-501. Epub 2005 Apr 4.

A novel protein kinase C (PKCepsilon) is required for fMet-Leu-Phe-induced activation of NF-kappaB in human peripheral blood monocytes.

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Department of Medicine, and Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Medical College of Ohio, 3055 Arlington Avenue, Toledo, OH 43614, USA.


We have reported that the chemoattractant, fMet-Leu-Phe (fMLP), induces the activation of NF-kappaB in human peripheral blood monocytes and that this requires the activity of small GTPase, RhoA (Huang, S., Chen, L.-Y., Zuraw, B. L., Ye, R. D., and Pan, Z. K. (2001) J. Biol. Chem. 276, 40977-40981). Here we showed that the novel protein kinase C isozyme, PKCepsilon, associates functionally with RhoA in fMLP-stimulated monocytes and that PKCepsilon acted as a signaling component downstream of the GTPase RhoA during fMLP-induced activation of NF-kappaB. Stimulation of monocytes with fMLP resulted in activation of both PKCepsilon and NF-kappaB. This latter activation was largely blocked by specific inhibitors of PKCepsilon by transient expression of a dominant-negative form of PKCepsilon and by PKCepsilon-specific short interfering RNA. These findings demonstrate, for the first time, that fMLP-induced activation of NF-kappaB utilizes a signaling pathway, which requires activity of PKCepsilon, and that PKCepsilon acts as a signaling component downstream of RhoA in cytokine gene transcription stimulated by a chemoattractant. The specificity of this response suggests an important role for the Rho GTPase-PKCepsilon-NF-kappaB pathway in host defense and represents a novel and potentially important mechanism through which fMLP not only attracts leukocytes but may also contribute directly to inflammation.

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