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J Immunol. 1991 Dec 1;147(11):3981-7.

Expression of protein kinase C genes in hemopoietic cells is cell-type- and B cell-differentiation stage specific.

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  • 1Laboratory of Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892.


We have studied the expression of mRNA encoding all known protein kinase C (PKC) isozymes (alpha, beta, gamma, delta, epsilon, zeta, and eta) in murine tumor cell lines that exemplify hemopoietic cells arrested at different stages of development as well as in normal hemopoietic cells. We demonstrate that some of the isozymes, PKC-alpha, -beta, and -eta, are differentially expressed in different lineages. PKC-alpha and -beta generally are not detectable in myeloid cell lines, where PKC-delta is the predominant isoform. Both PKC-alpha and -beta are abundant in most T and B lymphocytic lines, but steady state levels of PKC-beta mRNA are lowest in plasma cell tumors, which exemplify the terminally differentiated B lymphocyte. In contrast, the levels of PKC-alpha mRNA remain high in plasma cell tumors, and a novel, 2.5-kb PKC-alpha mRNA gains prominence. PKC-eta mRNA is the major PKC isoform expressed in T lymphocytes, but it also is highly abundant in some myeloid lines. PKC-delta is expressed at high levels in all the lines we studied, whereas PKC-epsilon and -zeta are found in most cells but only at rather low levels. Analysis of myeloid clones derived from bipotential B lineage progenitor cell lines suggests that the B cell phenotype is associated with the expression of PKC-alpha. The close correlation of protein levels with mRNA levels indicates that PKC expression in hemopoietic cells is mainly regulated at the level of mRNA. The lineage- and differentiation stage-specific patterns of PKC-isozyme expression presented here suggest the involvement of specific PKC isozymes in differentiation as well as lineage determination of hemopoietic cells.

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