Protein kinase C delta associates with and phosphorylates Stat3 in an interleukin-6-dependent manner

J Biol Chem. 1999 Aug 20;274(34):24392-400. doi: 10.1074/jbc.274.34.24392.


Stat3 is activated by phosphorylation on Tyr-705, which leads to dimer formation, nuclear translocation, and regulation of gene expression. Serine phosphorylation of Stat3 by mitogen-activated protein kinase has also been observed in cells responding to epidermal growth factor and shown to affect its tyrosine phosphorylation and transcriptional activity. Serine phosphorylation of Stat3 is also induced by interleukin-6 (IL-6) stimulation, which is shown to be independent of mitogen-activated protein kinase and sensitive to the Ser/Thr kinase inhibitor H7. In this study, we investigated whether protein kinase C (PKC) is the kinase that is induced and responsible for Stat3 serine phosphorylation by IL-6 stimulation and which isoform of PKCs is likely to be involved. Here, we report that Stat3 was specifically associated with PKC delta in vivo in an IL-6-dependent manner in several cell types. Furthermore, Stat3 was phosphorylated by PKC delta in vivo on Ser-727, which could be inhibited either by a specific PKC delta inhibitor or by a dominant-negative mutant of PKC delta. Finally, we showed that the phosphorylation of Stat3 by PKC delta led to a negative regulation of Stat3 DNA binding and transcriptional activity. These results indicate that PKC delta is likely to be the kinase that phosphorylates Stat3 in response to IL-6 stimulation and suggest a possible regulatory role of PKC delta on Stat3 function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 1-(5-Isoquinolinesulfonyl)-2-Methylpiperazine / pharmacology
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases / physiology
  • Cell Line
  • DNA / metabolism
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Epidermal Growth Factor / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6 / pharmacology*
  • Isoenzymes / physiology*
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 1
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Kinase C / physiology*
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor
  • Serine / metabolism
  • Trans-Activators / metabolism*
  • Transcriptional Activation


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Interleukin-6
  • Isoenzymes
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor
  • STAT3 protein, human
  • Trans-Activators
  • Serine
  • Epidermal Growth Factor
  • 1-(5-Isoquinolinesulfonyl)-2-Methylpiperazine
  • DNA
  • Protein Kinase C
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 1