Protein kinase Calpha mediates feedback inhibition of EGF receptor transactivation induced by Gq-coupled receptor agonists

Cell Signal. 2007 Jun;19(6):1348-57. doi: 10.1016/j.cellsig.2007.01.006. Epub 2007 Jan 19.


While a great deal of attention has been focused on G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR)-induced epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) transactivation, it has been known for many years that the tyrosine kinase activity of the EGFR is inhibited in cells treated with tumor-promoting phorbol esters, a process termed EGFR transmodulation. Because many GPCR agonists that elicit EGFR transactivation also stimulate the Gq/phospholipase C (PLC)/protein kinase C (PKC) pathway, we hypothesized that PKC-mediated inhibition of EGFR transactivation operates physiologically as a feedback loop that regulates the intensity and/or duration of GPCR-elicited EGFR transactivation. In support of this hypothesis, we found that treatment of intestinal epithelial IEC-18 cells with the PKC inhibitors GF 109203X or Ro 31-8220 or chronic exposure of these cells to phorbol-12,13-dibutyrate (PDB) to downregulate PKCs, markedly enhanced the increase in EGFR tyrosine phosphorylation induced by angiotensin II or vasopressin in these cells. Similarly, PKC inhibition enhanced EGFR transactivation in human colonic epithelial T84 cells stimulated with carbachol, as well as in bombesin-stimulated Rat-1 fibroblasts stably transfected with the bombesin receptor. Furthermore, cell treatment with inhibitors with greater specificity towards PKCalpha, including Gö6976, Ro 31-7549 or Ro 32-0432, also increased GPCR-induced EGFR transactivation in IEC-18, T84 and Rat-1 cells. Transfection of siRNAs targeting PKCalpha also enhanced bombesin-induced EGFR tyrosine phosphorylation in Rat-1 cells. Thus, multiple lines of evidence support the hypothesis that conventional PKC isoforms, especially PKCalpha, mediate feedback inhibition of GPCR-induced EGFR transactivation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Angiotensin II / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Down-Regulation / drug effects
  • Down-Regulation / genetics
  • Epithelial Cells / drug effects
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism
  • ErbB Receptors / genetics*
  • Feedback, Physiological* / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Indoles / pharmacology
  • Maleimides / pharmacology
  • Phosphotyrosine / metabolism
  • Protein Kinase C-alpha / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Protein Kinase C-alpha / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / agonists*
  • Transcriptional Activation / drug effects
  • Transcriptional Activation / genetics*


  • Indoles
  • Maleimides
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled
  • Angiotensin II
  • Phosphotyrosine
  • ErbB Receptors
  • Protein Kinase C-alpha
  • bisindolylmaleimide I
  • Ro 31-7549