The vertebrate central nervous system contains very high concentrations of protein kinase C, a calcium- and phospholipid-stimulated phosphorylating enzyme. Phorbol esters, compounds with inflammatory and tumor-promoting properties, bind to and activate this enzyme. To clarify the role of protein kinase C in neuronal function, we have localized phorbol ester receptors in the rat hippocampus by autoradiography and examined the electrophysiological effects of phorbol esters on hippocampal pyramidal neurons in vitro. Phorbol esters blocked a calcium-dependent potassium conductance. In addition, phorbol esters blocked the late hyperpolarization elicited by synaptic stimulation even though other synaptic potentials were not affected. The potencies of several phorbol esters in exerting these actions paralleled their affinities for protein kinase C, suggesting that protein kinase C regulates membrane ionic conductance.
|Number of pages
|Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
|Published - 1985
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