Rapid and reversible translocation of the catalytic subunit of cAMP-dependent protein kinase type II from the Golgi complex to the nucleus

EMBO J. 1985 Nov;4(11):2801-6. doi: 10.1002/j.1460-2075.1985.tb04006.x.


In unstimulated interphase bovine epithelial (MDBK) cells, both regulatory (R II) and catalytic (C) subunits of the type II enzyme of cAMP-dependent protein kinase (cAMP-dPK II) are associated with the Golgi complex. However, as demonstrated by indirect immunofluorescence microscopy, within 5 min after stimulation of adenylate cyclase by forskolin, the C subunit dissociates from the Golgi-associated R II and becomes diffusely distributed. With increasing time of forskolin treatment, C subunits accumulate in the nucleus, while R II subunits remain associated with the Golgi complex. The effect of forskolin is rapidly reversible in that C subunits begin to reassociate with the Golgi complex within a few minutes after drug removal. C subunit translocations similar to those produced by forskolin also occur after treatment of MDBK cells with dibutyryl-cAMP, confirming that the observed effects are most likely mediated by elevation of intracellular cAMP levels. These results suggest that nuclear translocation of activated protein kinase subunits may represent an important link between hormonal stimuli and physiological responses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Nucleus / enzymology*
  • Colforsin / pharmacology
  • Cyclic AMP / metabolism
  • Epithelial Cells
  • Epithelium / enzymology
  • Golgi Apparatus / enzymology*
  • Interphase
  • Kidney
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Protein Kinases / metabolism*


  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Colforsin
  • Cyclic AMP
  • Protein Kinases