Regulation of ornithine decarboxylase mRNA by phorbol esters and insulin in normal and C-kinase-deficient rat hepatoma cells. Academic Article uri icon


  • Tumor-promoting phorbol esters and insulin produce similar effects in Reuber H35 rat hepatoma cell proliferation, including increased ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) enzyme activity, DNA synthesis, and mitogenesis. We investigated ODC mRNA accumulation in cells treated with either insulin or 12-O-tetradecanoyl-phorbol-13-acetate (TPA). Both agents caused rapid accumulation of ODC mRNA: for TPA, it was maximal 3 hr after treatment (4-6-fold greater than control cells) and returned quickly to control levels; for insulin, it was significantly longer, continuing to increase for at least 6 hr. Simultaneous treatment with TPA and insulin led to additive effects on ODC mRNA. Induction of ODC by TPA was blocked by down-regulation or inhibition of protein kinase C (PKC), consistent with a PKC-mediated mechanism. In contrast, PKC down-regulation had little effect on ODC induction by insulin. Furthermore, although both agents stimulated ribosomal S6 protein phosphorylation in cells containing normal amounts of PKC, the response to TPA was abolished in PKC-depleted cells; the effect of insulin was only slightly inhibited. TPA caused a rapid redistribution of essentially all of the PKC activity from the cytosolic to the membrane fraction of the cells, whereas insulin had no effect on PKC distribution. These results suggest that although insulin and TPA share some common cytoplasmic signalling pathways, their effects on phosphorylation of nuclear proteins and transcription of ODC may be mediated by distinct factors.

published proceedings

  • J Cell Physiol

author list (cited authors)

  • Butler, A. P., Cohn, W. B., Mar, P. K., & Montgomery, R. L

citation count

  • 15

complete list of authors

  • Butler, AP||Cohn, WB||Mar, PK||Montgomery, RL

publication date

  • May 1991