Neuronal differentiation of PC12 cells involves changes in protein kinase C-theta distribution and molecular properties

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2000 Aug 18;275(1):149-53. doi: 10.1006/bbrc.2000.3258.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Transport / drug effects
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Differentiation* / drug effects
  • Cell Nucleus / drug effects
  • Cell Nucleus / enzymology
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Cytochalasin B / pharmacology
  • Cytoskeleton / drug effects
  • Cytoskeleton / enzymology
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism
  • Down-Regulation / drug effects
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Isoenzymes / metabolism*
  • Nerve Growth Factor / pharmacology
  • Neurites / drug effects
  • Neurites / enzymology
  • Neurons / cytology*
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Neurons / enzymology*
  • PC12 Cells
  • Protein Kinase C / metabolism*
  • Protein Kinase C-theta
  • Rats


  • Isoenzymes
  • Cytochalasin B
  • Nerve Growth Factor
  • Prkcq protein, rat
  • Protein Kinase C
  • Protein Kinase C-theta