Background & aims: We have previously reported that nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) could induce apoptosis of gastric epithelial cells both in vivo and in vitro. This study investigated the role of protein kinase C (PKC) isoforms in the regulation of NSAID-induced apoptosis.
Methods: Protein levels of 12 PKC isoforms in AGS cells, in the presence or absence of indomethacin, were determined by Western blot. The effect of PKC-beta1 overexpression by transfection with its complementary DNA (cDNA) on indomethacin-induced apoptosis and apoptosis-related genes, including p53, p21(waf1/cip1), and c-myc, was further investigated.
Results: Treatment with indomethacin decreased the abundance of PKC-beta1 and increased that of PKC-beta2, eta, and epsilon, but did not alter the expression of PKC alpha, gamma, zeta, delta, iota, and micro. Overexpression of PKC-beta1 attenuated the apoptotic response of AGS cells to indomethacin, associated with overexpression of p21(waf1/cip1) in both messenger RNA and protein levels. Inhibition of PKC-beta1-mediated overexpression of p21(waf1/cip1) by its antisense cDNA partially reduced the antiapoptotic effect of PKC-beta1.
Conclusions: Indomethacin-induced apoptosis in gastric cancer cells is partly mediated by differential regulation of PKC isoform expression. Enhanced expression of exogenous PKC-beta1 protects against indomethacin-induced apoptosis through up-regulation of p21(waf1/cip1).