The role of protein kinase C-alpha (PKC-alpha) in melanoma

Melanoma Res. 2004 Apr;14(2):85-9. doi: 10.1097/00008390-200404000-00002.


In the 1980s, protein kinase C (PKC) was identified as a contributing factor in skin tumorigenesis. As drugs targeting specifically PKC have become available, the intent of this review was to assess the role of PKC, in particular of PKC-alpha in melanoma or other skin cancers. We reviewed and summarized published studies examining the role of PKC-alpha in the development of melanoma or other skin cancers. Most studies to date have been cell-culture based. In models of melanoma, PKC-alpha activation is typically associated with increased tumour cell proliferation, invasiveness and decreased differentiation, suggesting that PKC-alpha inhibitors, such as aprinocarsen, an antisense oligonucleotide directed against PKC-alpha, may be appropriate in the treatment of skin malignancies. Because of the recent developments on selective or specific PKC-alpha inhibitors, including aprinocarsen, there is a growing need to conduct further translational research, especially in melanoma patients, to identify the patient population that might benefit most from PKC-alpha targeted therapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Melanoma / enzymology*
  • Melanoma / epidemiology
  • Melanoma / genetics
  • Melanoma / therapy
  • Protein Kinase C / chemistry
  • Protein Kinase C / genetics
  • Protein Kinase C / metabolism*
  • Protein Kinase C-alpha
  • Skin Neoplasms / enzymology*
  • Skin Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Skin Neoplasms / genetics
  • Skin Neoplasms / therapy


  • PRKCA protein, human
  • Protein Kinase C
  • Protein Kinase C-alpha