Ca2+/phospholipid-dependent kinase activity (C-kinase) plays an important second messenger role in T lymphocyte responses initiated by the cluster of differentiation (CD3) complex and presumably also lectinic receptors. During treatment with submitogenic or mitogenic amounts of phytohemagglutinin, as well as with anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody and 12-O-tetradecanoyl 13-phorbol acetate, the enzyme was intracellularly redistributed between the cytosol and the surface membrane. Submitogenic amounts of lectin and anti-CD3 were ineffective in inducing proliferation unless exogenous interleukin 2 (IL-2) was supplied, implying that even though IL-2 receptors were expressed, additional signals were required for IL-2 production. This would also indicate that there is a direct relationship between activation of C-kinase and expression of IL-2 receptors. The importance of C-kinase was further substantiated by the ability of 1-(5-isoquinolinylsulfonyl)-2-methylpiperazine dihydrochloride (H7), a potent inhibitor of this enzyme, to interfere with IL-2 receptor expression and cellular [methyl-3H]thymidine uptake during primary activation. The drug concentration at which these cellular responses were inhibited by 50% was about the same as that which decreased c-kinase activity by 50% in vitro. H7 also prevented anti-CD3-induced translocation in intact cells. This effect may be related to competition with the phosphatidylserine binding site, which is important for membrane attachment. This drug apparently also interferes with the active center of the enzyme as demonstrated by its ability to inhibit Ca2+/phospholipid-independent phosphorylation of protamine sulfate. This additional mode of inhibition may be important in suppressing intact cell responses under circumstances during which the enzyme displacement to the membrane is nonphysiologic in nature, e.g., during treatment with 12-O-tetradecanoyl 13-phorbol acetate.

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