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Am J Physiol. 1995 Sep;269(3 Pt 2):H1087-97.

Expression of protein kinase C isoforms during cardiac ventricular development.

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Department of Cardiac Medicine, University of London, United Kingdom.


The expression of protein kinase C (PKC) isoforms (PKC-alpha, PKC-beta 1, PKC-delta, PKC-epsilon, and PKC-zeta) was studied by immunoblotting in whole ventricles of rat hearts during postnatal development (1-26 days) and in the adult. PKC-alpha, PKC-beta 1, PKC-delta, PKC-epsilon, and PKC-zeta were detected in ventricles of 1-day-old rats, although PKC-alpha and PKC-beta 1 were only barely detectable. All isoforms were rapidly downregulated during development, with abundances relative to total protein declining in the adult to < 25% of 1-day-old values. PKC-beta 1 was not detectable in adult ventricles. The specific activity of PKC was also downregulated. The rat ventricular myocyte becomes amitotic soon after birth but continues to grow, increasing its protein content 40- to 50-fold between the neonate and the 300-g adult. An important question is thus whether the amount of PKC per myocyte is downregulated. With the use of isolated cells, immunoblotting showed that the contents per myocyte of PKC-alpha and PKC-epsilon increased approximately 10-fold between the neonatal and adult stages. In rat ventricles, the rank of association with the particulate fraction was PKC-delta > PKC-epsilon > PKC-zeta. Association of these isoforms with the particulate fraction was less in the adult than in the neonate. In primary cultures of ventricular myocytes prepared from neonatal rat hearts, 1 microM 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) elicited translocation of PKC-alpha, PKC-delta, and PKC-epsilon from the soluble to the particulate fraction in < 1 min, after which time no further translocation was observed. Prolonged exposure (16 h) of myocytes to 1 microM TPA caused essentially complete downregulation of these isoforms, although downregulation of PKC-epsilon was slower than for PKC-delta. In contrast, PKC-zeta was neither translocated nor downregulated by 1 microM TPA. Immunoblotting of human ventricular samples also revealed downregulation of PKC relative to total protein during fetal/postnatal development.

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