In this study we demonstrate that the rat pheochromocytoma PC12 cell line expresses the novel protein kinase C isozyme designated PKC-θ. The isozyme is almost completely localized in the nuclear compartment of proliferating cells. Following stimulation with the nerve growth factor, PKC-θ is redistributed into the cytoplasm and the outgrowing neurite processes, mostly as a cytoskeletal associated kinase. This event is accompanied by an eightfold increase in the expression level and by the appearance of specific modifications of PKC-θ molecule. Conversely, the kinase is down-regulated once cells reach the terminally differentiated state displaying a neuron-like phenotype. These data suggest a functional role for the kinase in the regulation of cytoskeletal modeling along the multistage differentiation process of PC12 cells.
Copyright 2000 Academic Press.