Protein kinase C as a stress sensor.

Article Details


Barnett ME, Madgwick DK, Takemoto DJ

Protein kinase C as a stress sensor.

Cell Signal. 2007 Sep;19(9):1820-9. Epub 2007 Jun 12.

PubMed ID
17629453 [ View in PubMed

While there are many reviews which examine the group of proteins known as protein kinase C (PKC), the focus of this article is to examine the cellular roles of two PKCs that are important for stress responses in neurological tissues (PKC gamma and epsilon) and in cardiac tissues (PKC epsilon). These two kinases, in particular, seem to have overlapping functions and interact with an identical target, connexin 43 (Cx43), a gap junction protein which is central to proper control of signals in both tissues. While PKC gamma and PKC epsilon both help protect neural tissue from ischemia, PKC epsilon is the primary PKC isoform responsible for responding to decreased oxygen, or ischemia, in the heart. Both do this through Cx43. It is clear that both PKC gamma and PKC epsilon are necessary for protection from ischemia. However, the importance of these kinases has been inferred from preconditioning experiments which demonstrate that brief periods of hypoxia protect neurological and cardiac tissues from future insults, and that this depends on the activation, translocation, or ability for PKC gamma and/or PKC epsilon to interact with distinct cellular targets, especially Cx43. This review summarizes the recent findings which define the roles of PKC gamma and PKC epsilon in cardiac and neurological functions and their relationships to ischemia/reperfusion injury. In addition, a biochemical comparison of PKC gamma and PKC epsilon and a proposed argument for why both forms are present in neurological tissue while only PKC epsilon is present in heart, are discussed. Finally, the biochemistry of PKCs and future directions for the field are discussed, in light of this new information.

DrugBank Data that Cites this Article

NameUniProt ID
Protein kinase C gamma typeP05129Details