Ca2+-dependent protein phosphorylation has been detected in numerous tissues and may mediate some of the effects of hormones and other extracellular stimuli on cell function. In this paper we demonstrate that a Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase similar to the enzyme previously purified and characterized from rat brain is present in PC12, a rat pheochromocytoma cell line. We show that Ca2+ influx elicited by various forms of cell stimulation leads to increased 32P incorporation into tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), a major phosphoprotein in these cells. Several other unidentified proteins are either phosphorylated or dephosphorylated as a result of Ca2+ influx. Acetylcholine stimulates TH phosphorylation by activation of nicotinic receptors. K+-induced depolarization stimulates TH phosphorylation in a Ca2+-dependent manner, presumably by opening voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels. Ca2+ influx that results from the direct effects of the ionophore A23187 also leads to TH phosphorylation. Phosphorylation of TH is accompanied by an activation of the enzyme. These Ca2+-dependent effects are independent of cyclic AMP and thus implicate a Ca2+-dependent protein kinase as a mediator of both hormonal and electrical stimulation of PC12 cells.

This content is only available as a PDF.