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S E Mau, T Særmark, and H Vilhardt


Translocation of protein kinase C (PKC) from the cytosol to the plasma membranes is believed to reflect activation of the enzyme. We have studied translocation of PKC in lactotroph-enriched anterior pituitary cell cultures by measuring the incorporation of γ-32P from [γ-32P]ATP into a synthetic peptide substrate, MBP4–14, and by immunoblotting of PKC isozymes. Using cells permeabilized with digitonin the effects of PKC cofactors on the distribution of the enzyme were studied. Ca+ (50 nm) and dioctanoyl-sn-glycerol had no effect when tested alone, but in combination they caused a redistribution of PKC from the soluble to the particulate fraction. Arachidonic acid needed Ca+ to induce translocation of PKC, while being ineffective under Ca2+-free conditions. Western blot analysis of partly purified PKC from lactotroph-enriched pituitary cells revealed the presence of the α, β, δ, and ζ isozymes. 12-O-Tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate (TPA) and substance P displayed different patterns of redistribution of PKC isozyme immunoreactivity from soluble to membrane-attached forms. Thus, TPA induced time- and dose-dependent (mean effective concentration (EC50)=1 nm) translocation of the α, β and δ species, while substance P stimulated time- and dose-dependent (EC50=1 nm) redistribution of the α and β isozymes. ζ subtype immunoreactivity could not be translocated by either agonist; neither could the immunoreactivity of ζ be down-regulated by long-term treatment (24 h) with TPA.

The results indicate that simultaneous activation of phospholipases C and A2 induces a synergistic activation of PKC. Finally it is suggested that substance P may exert some of its effects in lactotrophs by translocation of PKC isozymes α and β.

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T. Saermark, C. Jacobsen, A. Magee, and H. Vilhardt


The GH-releasing factor (GRF) analogue [His1, Nle27]-GRF(1–29) amide was used to study GRF receptor internalization in cultured rat anterior pituitary cells. The half-life of occupied receptors on the surface was approximately 10 min. Uptake of the analogue was followed by lysosomal breakdown, and receptors taken up were replaced to some extent by newly synthesized receptors, as indicated by reduced surface binding in the presence of cycloheximide.

2,3-Epoxy-4-oxo-7,10-dodecadienamide (cerulenin) inhibited internalization without affecting breakdown of the reduced amount of GRF analogue that entered the cells. The effect was half-maximal at 3 μg/ml for 1 h. Cerulenin inhibits fatty acid acylation of proteins. One explanation for its effect on GRF receptor internalization is that fatty acid acylation of a protein (possibly the receptor) is necessary for internalization, because cerulenin also inhibited internalization of the transferrin receptor which is known to be acylated. Cerulenin did not affect internalization of the somatostatin receptor present on the same cells, indicating the specificity of the inhibition.