Altered Expression and Subcellular Localization of Diacylglycerol-Sensitive Protein Kinase C Isoforms in Diabetic Rat Glomerular Cells

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Protein kinase C (PKC) is implicated in the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy.This study was designed to identify the expression of diacylglycerol (DAG)-sensitive PKC-alpha, -beta II, -delta, and -epsilon isoforms in normal and diabetic rat glomerular cells and to determine the effects of high glucose and insulin on PKC isoform cellular compartmentalization and PKC activity. Diabetic rats treated with or without insulin and normal rats were examined 2 and 4 weeks after streptozotocin/vehicle injection. Renal cortical tissue immunogold-labeled with anti-PKC-alpha, -beta II, -delta, or -epsilon antibody was visualized by electron microscopy. From isolated glomeruli, total cell lysate and cytosol and membrane fractions were immunoblotted with the same anti-PKC isoform antibodies. PKC activity in isolated glomeruli was measured by32 P-phosphorylation of the epidermal growth factor (EGF)-receptor substrate. Immunogold labeling revealed expression of the four PKC isoforms by glomerular visceral epithelial, endothelial, and mesangial cells of both normal and diabetic rats. Immunoblot analysis of the diabetic rat glomeruli at 2 weeks demonstrated a significant increase in membrane-associated PKC-alpha, -delta, and -epsilon and a significant decrease in membrane PKC-beta II content compared with normal, which were similar at 4 weeks. Insulin treatment normalized membrane PKC isoform contents and caused a significant decrease in the cytosol content of PKC-alpha, -beta II, and -delta and total cellular PKC-alpha compared with normal. Although PKC activity in the cells of diabetic rat glomeruli was increased by 20% compared with normal, the difference did not reach statistical significance. In insulin-treated diabetic rat glomeruli, PKC activity was significantly decreased compared with non-insulin-treated diabetic rat glomeruli. In conclusion, DAG-sensitive PKC-alpha, -beta II, -delta, and -epsilon isoforms are all found in the three major glomerular cell types in rats, and the expression, compartmentalization, and activity are modulated independently by high glucose and insulin. Diabetes 47:668-676, 1998

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