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J Invest Dermatol. 1996 Aug;107(2):248-52.

Differential activation of protein kinase C isozymes by phorbol ester and collagen in human skin microvascular endothelial cells.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, Stanford University School of Medicine, CA 94305, U.S.A.


Human dermal microvascular endothelial cells participate in activities including inflammation, wound healing, and angiogenesis (neovascularization). Two stages of angiogenesis can be mimicked in vitro by two models of cultured foreskin human dermal microvascular endothelial cells: the differentiation of epithelioid endothelial cells to spindle-shaped mesenchymal-like cells induced by phorbol ester treatment; and the formation of vascular channels induced by exposing the luminal surface of endothelial cell monolayers to type I collagen gels. The mechanisms underlying these two processes, however, are largely unknown. Protein kinase C isozymes, which are activated by phorbol esters, are important mediators in the angiogenic process. In the current work, we identified the protein kinase C isozymes present in human dermal microvascular endothelial cells and determined which of the isozymes are activated in response to phorbol ester or to collagen treatments. Using western blot analysis, we found that microvascular endothelial cells contain at least six protein kinase C isozymes (alpha, beta, delta, epsilon, zeta, eta). Immunocytochemical studies demonstrated that the isozymes are located in distinct cellular compartments and that following treatment with phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate or with a collagen gel overlay, most isozymes (protein kinase C alpha, beta1, betaII, delta, epsilon, eta) translocated to different parts of the cell. Moreover, for two of these isozymes (betaII and eta), the localization differs after phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate treatment as compared with collagen treatment. These results demonstrate that agents that mimic two stages in the angiogenic process in vitro initiate diverse changes in the subcellular localization of specific protein kinase C isozymes and suggest a role for different isozymes in this process.

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