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Cell Signal. 2011 Feb;23(2):497-505. doi: 10.1016/j.cellsig.2010.11.005. Epub 2010 Nov 7.

A role for protein kinase C in the regulation of membrane fluidity and Ca²(+) flux at the endoplasmic reticulum and plasma membranes of HEK293 and Jurkat cells.

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Department of Pharmacology, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100069, China.


Protein kinase C (PKC) plays a prominent role in the regulation of a variety of cellular functions, including Ca²(+) signalling. In HEK293 and Jurkat cells, the Ca²(+) release and Ca²(+) uptake stimulated by several different activators were attenuated by activation of PKC with phorbol myristate acetate (PMA) or 1-oleoyl-2-acetyl-sn-glycerol (OAG) and potentiated by PKC inhibition with Gö6983 or knockdown of PKCα or PKCβ using shRNA. Immunostaining and Western blotting analyses revealed that PKCα and PKCβII accumulated at the plasma membrane (PM) and that these isoforms, along with PKCβI, also translocated to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) upon activation with PMA. Measurements of membrane fluidity showed that, like the cell membrane stabilizers bovine serum albumin (BSA) and ursodeoxycholate (UDCA), PMA and OAG significantly reduced the fluidity of both the PM and ER membranes; these effects were blocked in PKC-knockdown cells. Interestingly, both BSA and UDCA inhibited the Ca²(+) responses to agonists to the same extent as PMA, whereas Tween 20, which increases membrane fluidity, raised the internal Ca²(+) concentration. Thus, activation of PKC induces both translocation of PKC to the PM and ER membranes and downregulation of membrane fluidity, thereby negatively modulating Ca²(+) flux.

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