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Am J Physiol. 1996 Aug;271(2 Pt 1):G293-303.

Hepatocellular protein kinase C activation by bile acids: implications for regulation of cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase.

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Department of Medicine, Medical College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond 23219, USA.


We have recently shown that taurocholate (TCA) represses the transcriptional activity of cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase, the rate-limiting enzyme of the bile acid biosynthetic pathway, through a protein kinase C (PKC)-dependent mechanism in primary cultures of rat hepatocytes. The present studies sought to determine the mechanisms by which bile acids activate hepatic PKC activity and the consequences of this activation on isoform distribution and cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase mRNA levels. TCA (12.5-100 microM for 15 min) increased membrane-associated "classic" isoenzyme cPKC-alpha and "novel" isoenzymes nPKC-delta, and nPKC by two- to sixfold. Membrane-associated PKC progressively increased, and cytosolic PKC decreased, for 1 h after the addition of TCA (50 microM); after 24 h whole cell cPKC-alpha, nPKC-delta, and nPKC were downregulated by 35-55% compared with untreated controls. In a reconstituted assay system, TCA or taurodeoxycholate (10-100 microM) increased calcium-dependent and -independent PKC activity by three- and fourfold, respectively. Taurine-conjugated bile acids stimulated PKC activity in proportion to their hydrophobicity index (r = 0.99). Finally, cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase mRNA was repressed > 75% by phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (100 nM for 3 h), a nonselective activator of PKC isoforms. In contrast, selective cPKC-alpha activation with thymeleatoxin (100 nM for 3 h) had no significant effect on cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase mRNA levels. We conclude that bile acids activate hepatocellular PKC, resulting in sequential redistribution and down-regulation of calcium-dependent and -independent isoforms. The calcium-independent PKC isoforms may mediate the repression of cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase mRNA by TCA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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