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Mol Cell Neurosci. 2008 Nov;39(3):400-10. doi: 10.1016/j.mcn.2008.07.013. Epub 2008 Jul 29.

Isoform-specific contribution of protein kinase C to prion processing.

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Institut de Pharmacologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire du CNRS, UMR6097, UNSA, Equipe labellisée Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale, Sophia-Antipolis, Valbonne, France.


The cellular prion protein (PrP(c)) undergoes a physiological cleavage between amino acids 111 and 112, thereby leading to the secretion of an amino-terminal fragment referred to as N1. This proteolytic event is either constitutive or regulated by protein kinase C (PKC) and is operated by the disintegrins ADAM9/ADAM10 or ADAM17 respectively. We recently showed that the stimulation of the M1/M3 muscarinic receptors potentiates this cleavage via the phosphorylation and activation of ADAM17. We have examined the contribution of various PKC isoforms in the regulated processing of PrP(c). First we show that the PDBu- and carbachol-stimulated N1 secretions are blocked by the general PKC inhibitor GF109203X. We establish that HEK293 and human-derived rhabdhomyosarcoma cells over-expressing constitutively active PKCalpha, PKCdelta or PKCepsilon, but not PKCzeta, produce increased amounts of N1 and harbor enhanced ability to hydrolyze the fluorimetric substrate of ADAM17, JMV2770. Conversely, over-expression of the corresponding dominant negative proteins abolishes PDBU-stimulated N1 secretion and restores N1 to levels comparable to constitutive production. Moreover, deletion of PKCalpha lowers N1 recovery in primary cultured fibroblasts. Importantly, mutation of threonine 735 of ADAM17 significantly lowers the PDBu-induced N1 formation while transient over-expression of constitutively active PKCalpha, PKCdelta or PKCepsilon, but not PKCzeta, induced both the phosphorylation of ADAM17 on its threonine residues and N1 secretion. As a corollary, T735A mutation concomitantly reversed PKCalpha-, PKCdelta- and PKCepsilon-induced ADAM17 phosphorylation and N1 recovery. Finally, we established that PKCepsilon-dependent N1 production is fully prevented by ADAM17 deficiency. Altogether, the present results provide strong evidence that the activation of PKCalpha, delta and epsilon, but not zeta, isoforms leads to increased N1 secretion via the phosphorylation and activation of ADAM17, a process that likely accounts for M1/M3 muscarinic receptors-mediated control of N1 production.

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