Increased protein kinase C activity is linked to reduced insulin receptor autophosphorylation in liver of starved rats

A. Karasik, P. L. Rothenberg, K. Yamada, M. F. White, C. R. Kahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Phosphorylation of the insulin receptor β-subunit on serine/threonine residues by protein kinase C reduces both receptor kinase activity and insulin action in cultured cells. Whether this mechanism regulates insulin action in intact animals was investigated in rats rendered insulin-resistant by 3 days of starvation. Insulin-stimulated autophosphorylation of the partially purified hepatic insulin receptor β-subunit was decreased by 45% in starved animals compared to fed controls. This autophosphorylation defect was entirely reversed by removal of pre-existing phosphate from the receptor with alkaline phosphatase, suggesting that increased basal phosphorylation on serine/threonine residues may cause the decreased receptor tyrosine kinase activity. Tryptic removal of a C-terminal region of the receptor β-subunit containing the Ser/Thr phosphorylation sites similarly normalized receptor autophosphorylation. To investigate which kinase(s) may be responsible for such increased Ser/Thr phosphorylation in vivo, protein kinase C and cAMP-dependent protein kinase A in liver were studied. A 2-fold increase in protein kinase C activity was found in both cytosol and membrane extracts from starved rats as compared to controls, while protein kinase A activity was diminished in the cytosol of starved rats. A parallel increase in protein kinase C was demonstrated by immunoblotting with a polyclonal antibody which recognizes several protein kinase C isoforms. These findings suggest that in starved, insulin-resistant animals, an increase in hepatic protein kinase C activity is associated with increased Ser/Thr phosphorylation which in turn decreases autophosphorylation and function of the insulin receptor kinase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10226-10231
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number18
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes


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