Author(s): Idris I, Gray S, Donnelly R
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Protein kinase C (PKC) is a family of multifunctional isoenzymes, activated by diacylglycerols (DAGs), which play a central role in signal transduction and intracellular crosstalk by phosphorylating at serine/threonine residues an array of substrates, including cell-surface receptors, enzymes, contractile proteins, transcription factors and other kinases. Individual isozymes vary in their pattern of tissue and subcellular distribution, function and Ca2+/phospholipid cofactor requirements, and in diabetes there is widespread activation of the DAG-PKC pathway in metabolic, cardiovascular and renal tissues. In liver, muscle and adipose tissue, PKC isozymes have been implicated both as mediators and inhibitors of insulin action. Activation of DAG-sensitive PKC isoforms, such as PKC-theta and PKC-epsilon, down-regulates insulin receptor signalling and could be an important biochemical mechanism linking dysregulated lipid metabolism and insulin resistance in muscle. On the other hand, atypical PKC isozymes, such as PKC-zeta and PKC-lambda, have been identified as downstream targets of PI-3-kinase involved in insulin-stimulated glucose uptake, especially in adipocytes. Glucose-induced de novo synthesis of (palmitate-rich) DAG and sustained isozyme-selective PKC activation (especially but not exclusively PKC-beta) has been strongly implicated in the pathogenesis of diabetic microangiopathy and macroangiopathy through a host of undesirable effects on endothelial function, VSM contractility and growth, angiogenesis, gene transcription (in part by MAP-kinase activation) and vascular permeability. Interventions that increase DAG metabolism (e. g. vitamin E) and/or inhibit PKC isozymes (e. g. the beta-selective inhibitor LY333531) ameliorate the biochemical and functional consequences of DAG-PKC activation in experimental diabetes, for example improving retinal blood flow and albuminuria in parallel with reductions in membrane-associated PKC isozyme activities. Thus, a greater understanding of the functional diversity and pathophysiological regulation of PKC isozymes is likely to have important clinical and therapeutic benefits.
This article was published in Diabetologia
and referenced in Journal of Diabetes & Metabolism