The protective adaptive response to electrophiles and reactive oxygen species is mediated by the induction of phase II detoxifying genes including glutathione S-transferases (GSTs). NF-E2-related factor-2 (Nrf2) phosphorylation by protein kinase C (PKC) is a critical event for its nuclear translocation in response to oxidative stress. Previously, we have shown that peroxynitrite plays a role in activation of Nrf2 and Nrf2 binding to the antioxidant response element (ARE) via the pathway of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-kinase) and that nitric oxide synthase in hepatocytes is required for GSTA2 induction. In view of the importance of PKC and PI3-kinase in Nrf2-mediated GST induction, we investigated the role of these kinases in peroxynitrite formation for GSTA2 induction by oxidative stress and determined the relationship between PKC and PI3-kinase. Although PKC activation by phorbol 12-myristate-13-acetate (PMA) did not increase the extents of constitutive and inducible GSTA2 expression, either PKC depletion by PMA or PKC inhibition by staurosporine significantly inhibited GSTA2 induction by tert-butylhydroquinone (t-BHQ) a prooxidant chemical. Therefore, the basal PKC activity is requisite for GSTA2 induction. 3-Morpholinosydnonimine (SIN-1), which decomposes and yields peroxynitrite, induced GSTA2, which was not inhibited by PKC depletion, but slightly enhanced by PKC activation, suggesting that PKC promotes peroxynitrite formation for Nrf2-mediated GSTA2 induction. Treatment of cells with S-nitroso- N-acetyl-penicillamine (SNAP), an exogenous NO donor, in combination with t-BHQ may produce peroxynitrite. GSTA2 induction by SNAP + t-BHQ was not decreased by PKC depletion, but rather enhanced by PKC activation, showing that the activity of PKC might be required for peroxynitrite formation. LY294002 a PI3-kinase inhibitor blocked GSTA2 induction by t-BHQ, which was reversed by PMA-induced PKC activation. These results provide evidence that PKC may play a role in formation of peroxynitrite that activates Nrf2 for GSTA2 induction and that PKC may serve an activator for GSTA2 induction downstream of PI3-kinase.