The role of protein kinase C isoforms in modulating injury and repair of the intestinal barrier

J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2006 Jan;316(1):1-7. doi: 10.1124/jpet.105.085449. Epub 2005 Jul 7.


Gastrointestinal cells express a diverse group of protein kinase C (PKC) isoforms that play critical roles in a number of cell functions, including intracellular signaling and barrier integrity. PKC isoforms expressed by gastrointestinal epithelial cells consist of three major PKC subfamilies: conventional isoforms (alpha, beta1, beta2, and gamma), novel isoforms (delta, epsilon, theta, eta, and mu), and atypical isoforms (lambda, tau, and zeta). This review highlights recent discoveries, including our own, that some PKC isoforms in gastrointestinal epithelia monolayer cell culture are involved in injury to, whereas others are involved in protection of, intestinal barrier integrity. For example, certain PKC isoforms aggravate oxidative damage, whereas others protect against it. These findings suggest that the development of agents that selectively activate or inhibit specific PKC isoforms may lead to new therapeutic modalities for important gastrointestinal disorders such as cancer and inflammatory bowel disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Mucosa / enzymology*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / injuries*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / pathology
  • Intestines / enzymology*
  • Intestines / injuries*
  • Intestines / pathology
  • Isoenzymes / physiology
  • Protein Kinase C / physiology*
  • Wound Healing / physiology*


  • Isoenzymes
  • Protein Kinase C