Protein kinase C, commonly abbreviated to PKC (EC 126.96.36.199), is a family of protein kinase enzymes that are involved in controlling the function of other proteins through the phosphorylation of hydroxyl groups of serine and threonineamino acid residues on these proteins, or a member of this family. PKC enzymes in turn are activated by signals such as increases in the concentration of diacylglycerol (DAG) or calcium ions (Ca2+). Hence PKC enzymes play important roles in several signal transduction cascades.
The PKC family consists of fifteen isozymes in humans. They are divided into three subfamilies, based on their second messenger requirements: conventional (or classical), novel, and atypical. Conventional (c)PKCs contain the isoforms α, βI, βII, and γ. These require Ca2+, DAG, and a phospholipidsuch as phosphatidylserine for activation. Novel (n)PKCs include the δ, ε, η, and θ isoforms, and require DAG, but do not require Ca2+ for activation. Thus, conventional and novel PKCs are activated through the same signal transduction pathway as phospholipase C. On the other hand, atypical (a)PKCs (including protein kinase Mζ and ι / λ isoforms) require neither Ca2+ nor diacylglycerol for activation. The term “protein kinase C” usually refers to the entire family of isoforms.
A multiplicity of functions have been ascribed to PKC. Recurring themes are that PKC is involved in receptor desensitization, in modulating membrane structure events, in regulating transcription, in mediating immune responses, in regulating cell growth, and in learning and memory. These functions are achieved by PKC-mediated phosphorylation of other proteins. However, the substrate proteins present for phosphorylation vary, since protein expression is different between different kinds of cells. Thus, effects of PKC are cell-type-specific: