Induction of mucin gene expression in human colonic cell lines by PMA is dependent on PKC-ε

D. H. Hong, G. Petrovics, W. B. Anderson, J. Forstner*, G. Forstner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Treatment of HT-29 cells with phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA), an activator of protein kinase C (PKC), induces MUC2 expression. To investigate the role of PKC in regulating mucin genes in intestinal cells, we examined the regulation of MUC1, MUC2, MUC5AC, MUC5B, and MUC6 expression in two human mucin-producing colonic cell lines, T84 and HT29/A1. T84 and HT29/A1 cells (at 80-90% confluency) were exposed to 100 nM PMA for 0, 3, and 6 h. Twofold or greater increases in mRNA levels for MUC2 and MUCSAC were observed in both cell lines during this time period, whereas the levels of MUC1, MUC5B, and MUC6 mRNAs were only marginally affected. These results indicated that PKC differentially regulates mucin gene expression and that it may be responsible for altered mucin expression. Our previous results suggested that the Ca2+- independent PKC-ε isoform appeared to mediate PMA-regulated mucin exocytosis in these cell lines. To determine if PKC-ε was also involved in MUC2/MUC5AC gene induction, HT29/A1 cells were stably transfected with either a wild-type PKC-ε or a dominant-negative ATP-binding mutant of PKC-ε (PKC-ε K437R). Overexpression of the dominant-negative PKC-ε K437R blocked induction of both mucin genes, whereas PMA-induced mucin gene expression was not prevented by overexpression of wild-type PKC-ε. PMA-dependent MUC2 mucin secretion was also blocked in cells overexpressing the dominant-negative PKC-ε K437R. On the basis of these observations, PKC-ε appears to mediate the expression of two major gastrointestinal mucins in response to PMA as well as PMA-regulated mucin exocytosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)G1041-G1047
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number5 40-5
StatePublished - Nov 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate
  • Protein kinase C
  • Signal transduction


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