Skip to Content
Authors Kent KC, Mii S, Harrington EO, Chang JD, Mallette S, Ware JA
Journal Circ. Res. Volume: 77 Issue: 2 Pages: 231-8
Publish Date 1995 Aug
PubMed ID 7542179

The intracellular signaling mechanisms that mediate basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF)-induced angiogenesis have not been fully identified. In particular, whether activation of the intracellular enzyme protein kinase C (PKC) is necessary or sufficient for bFGF-induced mitogenesis of human endothelial cells is not clear. Accordingly, the effect of bFGF stimulation on the Ca2+ increase and PKC activity of normal human endothelial cells (HEC) was studied, as was the effect of inhibition of PKC and the distribution of PKC isoenzymes in these cells. The addition of bFGF to cultured HEC increased overall PKC activity in the absence of an increase in intracellular Ca2+ and markedly stimulated their proliferation, as did the addition of PKC-activating phorbol esters. bFGF-induced proliferation was prevented by the PKC inhibitors chelerythrine and H-7 and by downregulation of PKC after prolonged incubation with phorbol esters. In contrast, these inhibitors did not prevent HEC proliferation induced by epidermal growth factor. Because of the failure of bFGF to increase Ca2+, we determined whether bFGF-induced proliferation could be mediated by novel or atypical PKC isoenzymes (which are not regulated by Ca2+). Investigation of the isoenzyme distribution of confluent and subconfluent HEC by immunoblotting, Northern transfer analysis, and polymerase chain reaction of reverse-transcribed RNA revealed the presence of several novel and atypical isoenzymes (PKC-delta, -eta, -theta, and -zeta) as well as small amounts of the conventional (Ca(2+)-regulated) isoenzymes PKC-alpha and -beta. Activation of PKC by bFGF, in the absence of an increase in intracellular Ca2+, suggests that one or more of these Ca(2+)-independent PKC isoenzymes are both necessary and sufficient for HEC proliferation after bFGF. Copyright © 2017 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System