Protein kinase C: a physiological mediator of enhanced transmitter output

Prog Neurobiol. 1998 Aug;55(5):463-75. doi: 10.1016/s0301-0082(98)00017-3.


Protein kinase C (PKC), activated by either diacylglycerol and/or arachidonic acid, through the activation of presynaptic receptors or nerve or nerve depolarization is involved is involved in the enhancement of transmitter release from many neural types. This facilities is most likely mediated by the phosphorylation of proteins involved in vesicle dynamics although a role for ion channels cannot be ruled out. PKC is not fundamental to the release process but rather has a modulatory role of PKC is to help maintain transmitter output during prolonged or elevated levels of activation and this seems to parallel suggestions that PKC is involved in the movement of reserve pools of vesicles into release-study sites. presynaptic facilitatory actions mediated by PKC are also involved in integrated modulatory functions such as long term potentiation, again where it elevates or maintains transmitter output. Although studies have tried to identify specific roles for various PKC isoforms, the actions of phorbol esters in elevators transmitter release do not fit with known potencies on individual isoforms and lit suggests that PKC may be located at an intraneuronal location which is difficult to access for lipophilic phorbol esters and further work is required in this area.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Humans
  • Neurons / enzymology
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / metabolism*
  • Norepinephrine / metabolism
  • Protein Kinase C / physiology*
  • Receptors, Presynaptic / physiology
  • Substrate Specificity
  • Sympathetic Nervous System / physiology


  • Neurotransmitter Agents
  • Receptors, Presynaptic
  • Protein Kinase C
  • Norepinephrine