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Oncogene. 2009 Mar 19;28(11):1410-20. doi: 10.1038/onc.2008.500. Epub 2009 Jan 26.

Epidermal growth factor-dependent cyclooxygenase-2 induction in gliomas requires protein kinase C-delta.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.


Earlier, we showed that epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling in human glioma cells increased cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression through p38-mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)-dependent activation of the Sp family of transcription factors. Further mechanistic details of EGFR-dependent induction of COX-2 expression in glioma cells remained elusive. Protein kinase Cs (PKCs) comprise a family of serine-threonine kinases that are major mediators of signaling from receptor tyrosine kinases. Here, we report that PKC-delta, a novel PKC isoform, plays a role in EGF-dependent COX-2 induction in human glioma cells. Pharmacological inhibition and genetic silencing (through siRNA or dominant-negative expression) of PKC-delta confirm a role for this PKC isoform in EGF-dependent COX-2 induction. Overexpression of a functional PKC-delta enhanced COX-2 expression indicating that PKC-delta is not only necessary but also sufficient to regulate COX-2 levels. Inhibition of p38-MAPK pharmacologically or with siRNA further shows that p38-MAPK is required for activation of PKC-delta by EGF while inhibition of PKC-delta had no discernible effects on p38-MAPK activation. Finally, EGF stimulation promotes physical interactions between PKC-delta and Sp1 resulting in phosphorylation and nuclear localization of this transcription factor. These data provide the first evidence that PKC-delta is a critical link between p38-MAPK and Sp1-dependent COX-2 expression in human glioma cells.

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