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. 1993 Aug;265(2 Pt 1):C406-11.
doi: 10.1152/ajpcell.1993.265.2.C406.

PKC-mediated Redistribution of Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase During Smooth Muscle Cell Activation


PKC-mediated Redistribution of Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase During Smooth Muscle Cell Activation

R A Khalil et al. Am J Physiol. .


Protein kinase C (PKC) translocates from the cytosol to the surface membrane at the time it mediates agonist-induced contraction of ferret vascular smooth muscle cells (R. A. Khalil and K. G. Morgan. J. Physiol. Lond. 455: 585-599, 1992). However, no direct communication between membrane-associated PKC and the contractile filaments has been identified. Mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase is a substrate for PKC and is also capable of phosphorylating the actin-binding protein caldesmon at sites phosphorylated during smooth muscle contraction in vivo (L. P. Adam, C. J. Gapinski, and D. R. Hathaway. FEBS Lett. 302: 223-226, 1992). In the present study, the hypothesis that PKC and MAP kinase are involved in a signal-transduction cascade leading to smooth muscle contraction was tested. Immunofluorescence and digital-imaging microscopy were used to localize the epsilon-PKC isoform and MAP kinase during phenylephrine-induced Ca(2+)-independent activation of ferret aorta cells. We report that maintained phenylephrine-induced translocation of cytosolic PKC to the surface membrane is associated with transient redistribution of cytosolic MAP kinase to the surface membrane before cell contraction. Coincident with cell contraction, MAP kinase undergoes a second redistribution away from the plasmalemma and toward the vicinity of contractile filaments. Redistribution of MAP kinase is not stimulated by Ca2+ but is completely prevented by PKC inhibitors. The transient Ca(2+)-independent but PKC-dependent redistribution of MAP kinase points to MAP kinase as a missing link in the signal-transduction cascade between membrane-bound PKC and smooth muscle activation.

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