The cytoskeletons of Y-1 mouse adrenal tumor cells contain a calcium and phospholipid-dependent protein kinase (protein kinase C) that is bound sufficiently tight to resist extraction by 0.5% Triton but not by 1.0% Triton. The enzyme has been purified to near homogeneity from cytoskeleton and cytosol. It shows features typical of this type of kinase, namely a requirement for Ca2+ and phospholipid, stimulation by tumor promoters but not by nontumor-promoting phorbol esters, and inhibition by trifluoperazine. The enzyme shows specificity for four substrates found in the cytoskeleton, namely 80, 33, 20, and 18 kD. The first three substrates are phosphorylated by the enzyme; the fourth is dephosphorylated and is therefore affected by the kinase indirectly. The 80-kD protein is the kinase enzyme itself which is autophosphorylated in vitro and in the cytoskeleton. The 20-kD protein is myosin light chain. The 33- and 18-kD proteins are unidentified. The same substrates were phosphorylated when Y-1 cells were permeabilized with digitonin and incubated with [gamma-32P]ATP and phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate. Partly purified protein kinase C changes the extent of phosphorylation of the same substrates when added to cytoskeletons previously extracted to remove endogenous protein kinase C. Addition of Ca2+, phosphatidylserine, and phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate to cytoskeletons, and addition of these three agents plus protein kinase C to extracted cytoskeletons, causes these structures to undergo a rapid and extensive rounding. A similar change is induced in intact cells by addition of phorbol ester. It is concluded that protein kinase C is capable of changing the shape of adrenal cells by an action that involves autophosphorylation and phosphorylation of myosin light chain. This response may in turn be related to the steroidogenic responses to ACTH and cyclic AMP.

This content is only available as a PDF.