Elevated protein kinase C βII is an early promotive event in colon carcinogenesis

Yesim Gökmen-Polar, Nicole R. Murray, Marco A. Velasco, Zoran Gatalica, Alan P. Fields

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

173 Scopus citations


Protein kinase C (PKC) has been implicated in colon carcinogenesis in humans and in rodent models. However, little is known about the specific role of individual PKC isozymes in this process. We recently demonstrated that elevated expression of PKC β311 in the colonic epithelium induces hyperproliferation in vivo (N. R. Murray et al., J. Cell Biol., 145: 699-711, 1999). Because hyperproliferation is a major risk factor for colon cancer, we assessed whether specific alterations in PKC βII expression occur during azoxymethane-induced colon carcinogenesis in mice. An increase in PKC β11 expression was observed in preneoplastic lesions (aberrant crypt foci, 3.7-fold) compared with saline-treated animals, and in colon tumors (7.8-fold; P = 0.011) compared with uninvolved colonic epithelium. In contrast, PKC α and PKC βII (a splicing variant of PKC βII) expression was slightly decreased in aberrant crypt foci and dramatically reduced in colon tumors. Quantitative reverse transcription-PCR analysis revealed that PKC mRNA levels do not directly correlate with PKC protein levels, indicating that PKC isozyme expression is likely regulated at the posttranscriptional/translational level. Finally, transgenic mice expressing elevated PKC βII in the colonic epithelium exhibit a trend toward increased colon tumor formation after exposure to azoxymethane. Taken together, our results demonstrate that elevated expression of PKC βII is an important early, promotive event that plays a role in colon cancer development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1375-1381
Number of pages7
JournalCancer research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 15 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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