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Diabetes. 1997 Feb;46(2):169-78.

Alterations in the expression and cellular localization of protein kinase C isozymes epsilon and theta are associated with insulin resistance in skeletal muscle of the high-fat-fed rat.

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Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Sydney, Australia.


We have tested the hypothesis that changes in the levels and cellular location of protein kinase C (PKC) isozymes might be associated with the development of insulin resistance in skeletal muscles from the high-fat-fed rat. Lipid measurements showed that triglyceride and diacylglycerol, an activator of PKC, were elevated four- and twofold, respectively. PKC activity assays indicated that the proportion of membrane-associated calcium-independent PKC was also increased. As determined by immunoblotting, total (particulate plus cytosolic) PKC alpha, epsilon, and zeta levels were not different between control and fat-fed rats. However, the ratio of particulate to cytosolic PKC epsilon in red muscles from fat-fed rats was increased nearly sixfold, suggesting chronic activation. In contrast, the amount of cytosolic PKC theta was downregulated to 45% of control, while the ratio of particulate to cytosolic levels increased, suggesting a combination of chronic activation and downregulation. Interestingly, while insulin infusion in glucose-clamped rats increased the proportion of PKC theta in the particulate fraction of red muscle, this was potentiated by fat-feeding, suggesting that the translocation is a consequence of altered lipid flux rather than a proximal event in insulin signaling. PKC epsilon and theta measurements from individual rats correlated with triglyceride content of red gastrocnemius muscle; they did not correlate with plasma glucose, which was not elevated in fat-fed rats, suggesting that they were not simply a consequence of hyperglycemia. Our results suggest that these specific alterations in PKC epsilon and PKC theta might contribute to the link between increased lipid availability and muscle insulin resistance previously described using high-fat-fed rats.

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