Members of the protein kinase C (PKC) family are activated by interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) and modulate IFN-gamma-induced cellular responses by regulating the activity of transcription factors. We previously reported that PKC-alpha enhances the ability of IFN regulatory factor-1 to transactivate the class II transactivator (CIITA) promoter IV in IFN-gamma-stimulated macrophages. In addition, we showed that IFN-gamma induces the nuclear translocation of PKC-alpha but the mechanisms for this remain to be elucidated. In this study, we sought to identify signalling pathways involved in IFN-gamma-induced activation of PKC-alpha and to characterize their potential roles in modulating IFN-gamma-induced responses in macrophages. IFN-gamma-mediated nuclear translocation of PKC-alpha was a Janus activated kinase 2 (JAK2)-independent process, which required phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK). However, PKC-alpha phosphorylation was independent of PI3K and p38 MAPK, indicating that IFN-gamma-induced phosphorylation and nuclear translocation of PKC-alpha are mediated by distinct mechanisms. In addition, inhibition of PI3K, but not of p38 MAPK, strongly impaired IFN-gamma-induced CIITA and MHC II gene expression. Finally, PKC-alpha associated with signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1) and was required for the phosphorylation of STAT1 on serine 727 in IFN-gamma-stimulated macrophages. Taken together, our data indicate that PI3K and p38 MAPK modulate IFN-gamma-stimulated PKC-alpha nuclear translocation independently of JAK2 activity and that both PI3K and PKC-alpha are required for type IV CIITA and MHC II gene expression in IFN-gamma-stimulated macrophages.