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Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 1996 Nov;28(11):1257-69.

Liver protein kinase C isozymes: properties and enzyme role in a vertebrate facultative anaerobe.

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Institute of Biochemistry, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.


Protein kinase C was purified to homogeneity from liver of the anoxia-tolerant turtle (Trachemys scripta elegans). Two isozymes were present and were identified as PKC alpha and PKC beta by hydroxylapatite chromatography and cross-reaction with specific antibodies to the mammalian isozymes. Kinetic characterization of the isozymes showed that both required phospholipids and Ca2+ for activation and both were inhibited by low concentrations of PKC inhibitors. The PKC alpha was activated more strongly by phosphatidylinositol and lysophosphatidylinositol compared with PKC beta. Treatment with trypsin did not activate turtle PKC isozymes, but generated inactive PKC beta, whereas PKC alpha was resistant to inactivation. Anoxia exposure of turtles in vivo, via submergence in N2-gassed water at 7 degrees C, altered the activity and subcellular distribution of PKC in liver. After 1 hr of anoxic exposure at 7 degrees C, the activity of membrane-bound PKC had increased by 2.4-fold and represented a translocation of 40% of PKC beta and more than 80% of PKC alpha from the cytosol to the membrane-associated fraction. With longer submergence, however, membrane-bound PKC activity was suppressed again. This two-phase response to anoxia by PKC suggests that an activation of PKC, through its translocation to the membrane, is important in mediating the initial metabolic responses to submergence, which include an activation of glycogenolysis during the hypoxia transition period. With sustained anoxia exposure, the subsequent reduction of PKC activity may be part of the overall mechanism of metabolic rate depression that allows endurance of prolonged anoxia.

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