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Using the human hepatoma cell line Hep G2, we have studied a possible role of protein kinase C (PKC) activity for regulation of erythropoietin (EPO) production. During a 72-h incubation, EPO production by the cells was stimulated sevenfold by exposure to low oxygen tension (1%) and threefold by exposure to cobaltous chloride (100 μM). The phorbol ester phorbol 12- myristate-13 acetate (PMA) led to a concentration-dependent inhibition of basal and stimulated EPO formation (ED 50 10 nM). This decrease of EPO production, which was apparent already after 1 h of incubation with PMA, reached its maximal effect after 24 h and held on for 72 h. It was paralleled by an inhibition of the increase of EPO mRNA levels in response to stimulation. A 24-h preincubation of the cells with PMA (100 nM) virtually blunted the effect of hypoxia on EPO formation. Recovery of EPO synthesis after removal of PMA took 48-72 h. The effect of PMA on EPO production was mimicked by phorbol 12,13-dibutyrate (ED 50 1 μM) but not by 4α-phorbol 12,13-didecanoate. The synthetic diacylglycerol analogues oleolyl- acetylglycerol and dioctanoylglycerol (2-200 μM) also had no effect on either basal or stimulated EPO production. Treatment with PMA caused a translocation of the α-isoenzyme of PKC from the cytosol to the membrane after 1 h and a disappearance of the membrane-bound form after 24 h of incubation. Staurosporine and 1-(5-isoquinolinylsulfonyl)-2-methylpiperazine, two structurally different inhibitors of PKC activity, inhibited basal and stimulated EPO production with ED 50 values of 9 nM and 50 μM, respectively. Moreover, they amplified the inhibitory effect on EPO production exerted by PMA. Taken together, our results strongly suggest that PKC activity has influence on the regulation of EPO formation in Hep G2 cells.


Journal article


American Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology

Publication Date