TGF-β- and angiotensin-II-induced mesangial matrix protein secretion is mediated by protein kinase C

Robert H Weiss, Al Ramirez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Background. Glomerulonephritis is characterized by the accumulation of extracellular matrix protein within the glomerulus. This process, when allowed to proceed unimpeded, leads to glomerulosclerosis and eventually to cessation of glomerular filtration. There is evidence that protein kinase C (PKC) activation plays an important role in mediating at least some of the effects of TGF-β in vascular smooth-muscle cells. The current study was undertaken to determine whether PKC activity is required for both TGF-β and angiotensin II (Ang II) to induce mesangial cell matrix protein secretion. Methods. PKC was inhibited by two separate methods, and [3H]thymidine incorporation was assessed in both the presence and the absence of PKC inhibition. Conditioned medium from cells stimulated with TGF-β or Ang II was collected and analysed for secreted matrix proteins and sulphated proteins by SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and western blotting. Results. Twenty-four-hour incubation of rat mesangial cells with phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate (PMA) reduced total PKC activity to basal levels. Both TGF-β and Ang II were mitogenic in mesangial cells, and chronic PMA pre-incubation inhibited this DNA synthesis. TGF-β-and Ang-II-induced sulphated protein secretion into conditioned medium was markedly attenuated in PKC-downregulated cells. Secretion of the specific matrix proteins laminin and fibronectin by mesangial cells stimulated with either TGF-β or Ang II was also diminished in PKC-downregulated cells and in cells pre-incubated with the specific PKC inhibitor, chelerythrine. There was no evidence of generalized cell toxicity or decreased non-specific protein synthesis caused by these PKC inhibitors. Conclusions. PKC is a key intermediary in the process by which TGF-β and Ang II cause DNA synthesis and mesangial cell matrix protein production. Thus, PKC inhibitors deserve further study as potential therapeutic agents for a variety of glomerular diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2804-2813
Number of pages10
JournalNephrology Dialysis Transplantation
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1998


  • Angiotensin
  • Mesangial cell
  • Phorbol
  • Protein kinase C
  • Proteoglycan
  • TGF-β

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology
  • Transplantation


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