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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Inhibition of protein kinase C prevents asbestos-induced c-fos and c-jun proto-oncogene expression in mesothelial cells.

Asbestos and the phorbol ester tumor promoter, 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA), increase c-fos and c-jun mRNA levels and AP-1 DNA binding activity in rat pleural mesothelial (RPM) cells, a target cell of asbestos-induced mesotheliomas (N. H. Heintz et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 90: 3299-3303, 1993). Because protein kinase C (PKC) is the intracellular receptor of phorbol ester tumor promoters and asbestos is a putative tumor promoter in the respiratory tract, we hypothesized that PKC might play a critical role in asbestos-induced cell signaling pathways associated with regulation of proto-oncogenes. Using a panel of PKC antibodies, we identified PKC alpha as the major PKC isozyme in RPM cells. We then pretreated cells with phorbol ester dibutyrate to down-modulate PKC or with calphostin C, a specific PKC inhibitor, to determine if depletion of PKC alpha could block asbestos-induced c-fos/c-jun expression. Quantitation of Northern blots showed that fiber-associated c-fos/c-jun mRNA levels were significantly lower either after PKC alpha down-modulation or pretreatment with calphostin C. In addition, to determine whether tyrosine kinases also were involved in proto-oncogene activation by asbestos, tyrphostin AG82 or herbimycin A was added to RPM cells before exposure to asbestos. These inhibitors decreased crocidolite-induced c-fos but not c-jun levels, suggesting that tyrosine kinases have different regulatory roles in asbestos-induced c-fos versus c-jun signaling pathways. The ability to block induction of asbestos-induced proto-oncogene expression using pharmacological intervention may be important in prevention and treatment of asbestos-induced proliferative diseases including lung cancers, mesothelioma, and pulmonary fibrosis.[1]


  1. Inhibition of protein kinase C prevents asbestos-induced c-fos and c-jun proto-oncogene expression in mesothelial cells. Fung, H., Quinlan, T.R., Janssen, Y.M., Timblin, C.R., Marsh, J.P., Heintz, N.H., Taatjes, D.J., Vacek, P., Jaken, S., Mossman, B.T. Cancer Res. (1997) [Pubmed]
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