Distribution of protein kinase Mzeta and the complete protein kinase C isoform family in rat brain

M U Naik, Eirikur Benedikz, I Hernandez, J Libien, J Hrabe, M Valsamis, D Dow-Edwards, M Osman, T C Sacktor

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Protein kinase C (PKC) is a multigene family of at least ten isoforms, nine of which are expressed in brain (alpha, betaI, betaII, gamma, delta, straightepsilon, eta, zeta, iota/lambda). Our previous studies have shown that many of these PKCs participate in synaptic plasticity in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. Multiple isoforms are transiently activated in the induction phase of long-term potentiation (LTP). In contrast, a single species, zeta, is persistently activated during the maintenance phase of LTP through the formation of an independent, constitutively active catalytic domain, protein kinase Mzeta (PKMzeta). In this study, we used immunoblot and immunocytochemical techniques with isoform-specific antisera to examine the distribution of the complete family of PKC isozymes and PKMzeta in rat brain. Each form of PKC showed a widespread distribution in the brain with a distinct regional pattern of high and low levels of expression. PKMzeta, the predominant form of PKM in brain, had high levels in hippocampus, frontal and occipital cortex, striatum, and hypothalamus. In the hippocampus, each isoform was expressed in a characteristic pattern, with zeta prominent in the CA1 stratum radiatum. These results suggest that the compartmentalization of PKC isoforms in neurons may contribute to their function, with the location of PKMzeta prominent in areas notable for long-term synaptic plasticity.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)243-58
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Animals
  • Brain
  • Cerebellum
  • Hippocampus
  • Immunoblotting
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Isoenzymes
  • Protein Kinase C
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Tissue Distribution


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