Translational control of protein kinase Cη by two upstream open reading frames

Hadas Raveh-Amit, Adva Maissel, Jonathan Poller, Liraz Marom, Orna Elroy-Stein, Michal Shapira, Etta Livneh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Protein kinase C (PKC) represents a family of serine/threonine kinases that play a central role in the regulation of cell growth, differentiation, and transformation. Posttranslational control of the PKC isoforms and their activation have been extensively studied; however, not much is known about their translational regulation. Here we report that the expression of one of the PKC isoforms, PKCη, is regulated at the translational level both under normal growth conditions and during stress imposed by amino acid starvation, the latter causing a marked increase in its protein levels. The 5′ untranslated region (5′ UTR) of PKCη is unusually long and GC rich, characteristic of many oncogenes and growth regulatory genes. We have identified two conserved upstream open reading frames (uORFs) in its 5′ UTR and show their effect in suppressing the expression of PKCη in MCF-7 growing cells. While the two uORFs function as repressive elements that maintain low basal levels of PKCη in growing cells, they are required for its enhanced expression upon amino acid starvation. We show that the translational regulation during stress involves leaky scanning and is dependent on eIF-2α phosphorylation by GCN2. Our work further suggests that translational regulation could provide an additional level for controlling the expression of PKC family members, being more common than currently recognized.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6140-6148
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular and Cellular Biology
Issue number22
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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