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, 325 (6099), 58-60

Activation of Protein Kinase C Augments Evoked Transmitter Release

Activation of Protein Kinase C Augments Evoked Transmitter Release

R Shapira et al. Nature.


In view of the emerging role of the phosphoinositide system in cellular communication we examined its involvement in quantal-transmitter release, which is a key element in synaptic transmission. Transmitter release is normally activated by an increase in intracellular calcium, achieved either by entry of calcium ions through the presynaptic membrane or by intracellular calcium liberation. One of the targets of the phosphoinositide signalling system is the enzyme protein kinase C (PKC), which can be activated experimentally by tumour promoting phorbol esters, including 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA). Such activation of PKC may be implicated in transmitter release in two ways. First, phorbol esters were found to increase secretion and enhance calcium currents; it might therefore be expected that they would increase synaptic transmitter release. But phorbol esters also inhibit the calcium current in dorsal root ganglion neurones. We report that the phorbol ester TPA augments synaptic transmission at the neuromuscular junction by increasing transmitter liberation. Activation of PKC also depends synaptic depression.

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