Regulation of glioblastoma cell invasion by PKC iota and RhoB

Oncogene. 2008 Jun 5;27(25):3587-95. doi: 10.1038/sj.onc.1211027. Epub 2008 Jan 21.


Glioblastoma multiforme is the most aggressive form of primary brain tumor and remains largely incurable, in large part, due to its highly invasive nature. The phosphoinositide (PI) 3-kinase pathway is often constitutively active in these tumors due to activating mutations in the epidermal growth factor receptor, or deletion/loss of function of the tumor suppressor PTEN. Protein kinase C type iota (PKC iota), a member of the atypical protein kinase C family, is activated by the PI 3-kinase pathway and is an important downstream mediator. Here, we have assessed the role of PKC iota in glioblastoma cell invasion. Depletion of PKC iota with RNA interference caused an increase in actin stress fibers and a decrease in cell motility and invasion. Gene expression microarray analysis of U87MG cells showed that PKC iota repressed expression of mRNA for RhoB, which has previously been shown to have a role in actin stress fiber formation. Western blot analysis showed that both PKC iota depletion and pharmacological inhibition of PKC iota caused an increase in the protein levels of RhoB, as did inhibition of PI 3-kinase. Expression of RhoB from a constitutive promoter caused changes in actin stress fibers and cell invasion that were similar to those seen with PKC iota depletion. These data show that PKC iota, activated as a consequence of aberrant upstream PI 3-kinase signaling, mediates glioblastoma cell motility and invasion, and that repression of RhoB is key downstream event in PKC iota signaling leading to enhanced cell motility. In addition, constitutive expression of RhoB repressed PKC iota activity, as assessed by its phosphorylation status on Thr555. PKC iota and RhoB are, therefore, mutually antagonistic, potentially creating a sensitive switch between invasive and non-invasive phenotypes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brain Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Movement
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Glioblastoma / metabolism*
  • Glioblastoma / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Isoenzymes / metabolism*
  • Models, Biological
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / metabolism
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Protein Kinase C / metabolism*
  • RNA Interference
  • rhoB GTP-Binding Protein / metabolism*


  • Isoenzymes
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases
  • Protein Kinase C
  • protein kinase C lambda
  • rhoB GTP-Binding Protein