Protein kinase C-theta;: signaling from the center of the T-cell synapse

Curr Opin Immunol. 2002 Jun;14(3):323-30. doi: 10.1016/s0952-7915(02)00346-1.


The hypothesis that protein kinase C (PKC)-theta; plays an important role in T-lymphocyte activation, as indicated by numerous studies in cell lines, was recently confirmed in mice deficient in the expression of this enzyme. In response to TCR stimulation, peripheral T cells lacking PKC-theta; failed to activate NF-kappaB and AP-1, and to express IL-2. This revealed a critical function for this PKC family member in linking membrane-proximal activation cascades to transcriptional responses governing T-cell activation. Although the molecular interactions in which PKC-theta; engages have not been fully delineated, insights from a variety of recent studies have permitted new models to be formulated regarding the mechanisms through which it achieves its unique effector functions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Membrane / enzymology
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Humans
  • Integrins / physiology
  • Isoenzymes / physiology*
  • Mice
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Protein Kinase C / physiology*
  • Protein Kinase C-theta
  • Synapses / physiology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Transcription Factor AP-1 / metabolism


  • Integrins
  • Isoenzymes
  • NF-kappa B
  • Transcription Factor AP-1
  • PRKCQ protein, human
  • Prkcq protein, mouse
  • Protein Kinase C
  • Protein Kinase C-theta