Protein kinase Cθ (PKCθ) is a key enzyme in T-lymphocytes where it plays an important role in signal transduction downstream of the activated T-cell receptor (TCR) and the CD28 co-stimulatory receptor. Antigenic stimulation of T-cells triggers PKCθ translocation to the centre of the immunological synapse (IS) at the contact site between antigen-specific T-cells and antigen-presenting cells (APCs). The ISresiding PKCθ phosphorylates and activates effector molecules that transduce signals into distinct subcellular compartments and activate the transcription factors, nuclear factor κB (NF-κB), nuclear factor of activated T-cells (NFAT) and activating protein 1 (AP-1), which are essential for the induction of T-cell-mediated responses. Besides its major biological role in T-cells, PKCθ is expressed in several additional cell types and is involved in a variety of distinct physiological and pathological phenomena. For example, PKCθ is expressed at high levels in platelets where it regulates signal transduction from distinct surface receptors, and is required for optimal platelet activation and aggregation, as well as haemostasis. In addition, PKCθ is involved in physiological processes regulating insulin resistance and susceptibility to obesity, and is expressed at high levels in gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GISTs), although the functional importance of PKCθ in these processes and cell types is not fully clear. The present article briefly reviews selected topics relevant to the biological roles of PKCθ in health and disease.
- Gastrointestinal stromal tumour (GIST)
- Platelet activation
- Protein kinase Cθ (Pkcθ)
- Signal transduction
- T-cell activation