Three activators of protein kinase C, bryostatins, dioleins, and phorbol esters, show differing specificities of action on GH4 pituitary cells

J. S. Ramsdell, G. R. Pettit, A. H. Tashjian

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95 Scopus citations


Phorbol ester tumor promoters such as 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol acetate (TPA) activate the calcium- and phospholipid-dependent protein kinase C and enhance three biological responses (prolactin release, prolactin synthesis, and cell stretching) in GH4C5 rat pituitary cells. We have examined several actions on GH4C5 cells of TPA and two other classes of protein kinase C activators, synthetic cell permeant dioleins and bryostatins isolated from the marine bryozoan Bugula neritina. Bryostatins 1 and 2 (B1 and B2, respectively) competed for [3H]phorbol 12,13-dibutyate binding to the protein kinase C complex in intact cells nearly equipotently with TPA. B1 and B2, 1-oleoyl-2-acetylglycerol (OAG) and 1,2-dioctanoylglycerol (Di8) as well as TPA each activated partially purified protein kinase C from GH4C5 cells. B1, B2, and TPA each enhanced the acute release of prolactin from GH4C5 cells to a similar maximal extent. B1, B2, and TPA also enhanced prolactin synthesis. However, B1 and B2 were only partial agonists because they enhanced prolactin synthesis to a lesser maximal extent than did TPA and, given in combination, they reduced TPA-enhanced prolactin synthesis. OAG and Di8 stimulated prolactin release (to a lesser maximal extent than TPA) and did not stimulate prolactin synthesis. Pretreatment with OAG did not reduce TPA-stimulated prolactin release or synthesis. B2 and TPA induced cell stretching in GH4C5 cells, whereas B1, OAG, and Di8 induced little if any stretching. B1, but not B2, given in combination with TPA antagonized TPA-induced stretching but did not reduce thyrotropin-releasing hormone- or epidermal growth factor-induced stretching. We conclude that the bryostatins, phorbol esters, and dioleins bind to the same site on the protein kinase C complex to activate the enzyme, but they alter three biological responses in GH4C5 cells with selectivities and efficacies that differ. We propose that different activators of protein kinase C (such as bryostatins, dioleins, and phorbol esters) may elicit different cellular responses by altering the substrate specificity or activating multiple forms of the kinase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17073-17080
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number36
StatePublished - 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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