The Role of protein kinase C modulation in the antiproliferative effects of bistratene A, bryostatin 1 and phorbol esters

  • Caroline Stanwell

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


PKC-mediated signalling pathways are important in cell growth and differentiation, and aberrations in these pathways are implicated in tumourigenesis. The objective of this project was to clarify the link between cell growth inhibition and PKC modulation.The PKC activators bryostatin 1 and 12-0-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) inhibited growth in A549 and MCF-7 adenocarcinoma cells with great potency, and induced HL-60 leukaemia cell differentiation. Bistratene A affected these cells similarly. Experiments were conducted to test the hypotheses that bistratene A exerts its effects via PKC modulation and that characteristics of cytostasis induced by bryostatin 1 and TPA depend upon PKC isozyme-specific events.
After incubation of A549 cells with TPA or bistratene A, 2D phosphoprotein electrophoretograrns revealed three proteins phosphorylated by both agents. However, bistratene A was unable to induce the formation of cellular networks on the basement membrane substitute Matrigel, and staurosporine was unable to reverse bistratene A-induced [3H]thymidine uptake inhibition, unlike TPA. Bistratene A did not induce PKC translocation or downregulation, activate or inhibit A549 and MCF-7 cell cytosolic PKC or compete for phorbol ester receptors. Western blot analysis and hydroxylapatite chromatography identified PKC α, ε and ζ in these cells. Bistratene A was unable to activate any of these isoforms. Therefore the agent does not exert its antiproliferative effects by modulation of PKC activity.
The abilities of bryostatin 1 and TPA (10nM-1μM) to induce PKC isoform translocation and downregulation were compared with antiproliferative effects. Both agents induced dose-dependent downregulation and translocation of PKC α and ε to particulate and nuclear cell fractions. PKC ζ was translocated to the particulate fraction by both agents in MCF-7 cells. The similarity of PKC isoform redistribution by these agents did not explain their divergent effects on cell growth, and the role of nuclear translocation of PKC in cytostasis was not confirmed by these studies. Alternative factors governing the characteristics of growth inhibition induced by these agents are discussed.
Date of AwardJun 1993
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorAndy Gescher (Supervisor)


  • growth inhibition
  • translocation
  • downregulation
  • A549 cells
  • MCF-7 cells

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