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Mol Cell Biol. 2009 Jan;29(1):104-15. doi: 10.1128/MCB.01294-08. Epub 2008 Oct 27.

Protein kinase Czeta represses the interleukin-6 promoter and impairs tumorigenesis in vivo.

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Department of Cancer and Cell Biology, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, 3125 Eden Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45267, USA.


Gene alterations in tumor cells that confer the ability to grow under nutrient- and mitogen-deficient conditions constitute a competitive advantage that leads to more-aggressive forms of cancer. The atypical protein kinase C (PKC) isoform, PKCzeta, has been shown to interact with the signaling adapter p62, which is important for Ras-induced lung carcinogenesis. Here we show that PKCzeta-deficient mice display increased Ras-induced lung carcinogenesis, suggesting a new role for this kinase as a tumor suppressor in vivo. We also show that Ras-transformed PKCzeta-deficient lungs and embryo fibroblasts produced more interleukin-6 (IL-6), which we demonstrate here plays an essential role in the ability of Ras-transformed cells to grow under nutrient-deprived conditions in vitro and in a mouse xenograft system in vivo. We also show that PKCzeta represses histone acetylation at the C/EBPbeta element in the IL-6 promoter. Therefore, PKCzeta, by controlling the production of IL-6, is a critical signaling molecule in tumorigenesis.

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