Activation of focal adhesion kinase by protein kinase Cε in neonatal rat ventricular myocytes

Maria C. Heidkamp, Allison L. Bayer, Brian T. Scully, Diane M. Eble, Allen M. Samarel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Focal adhesion kinase (FAK) is a non-receptor protein tyrosine kinase critical for both cardiomyocyte survival and sarcomeric assembly during endothelin (ET)-induced cardiomyocyte hypertrophy. ET-induced FAK activation requires upstream activation of one or more isoenzymes of protein kinase C (PKC). Therefore, with the use of replication-defective adenoviruses (Adv) to overexpress constitutively active (ca) and dominant negative (dn) mutants of PKCs, we examined which PKC isoenzymes are necessary for FAK activation and which downstream signaling components are involved. FAK activation was assessed by Western blot analysis with an antibody specific for FAK autophosphorylated at Y397 (Y397pFAK). ET (10 nmol/l; 2-30 min) resulted in the time-dependent activation of FAK which was inhibited by chelerythrine (5 μmol/l; 1 h pretreatment). Adv-caPKCε, but not Adv-caPKCδ, activated FAK compared with a control Adv encoding β-galactosidase. Conversely, Adv-dnPKCε inhibited ET-induced FAK activation. Y-27632 (10 μmol/l; 1 h pretreatment), an inhibitor of Rho-associated coiled-coil-containing protein kinases (ROCK), prevented ET- and caPKCε-induced FAK activation as well as cofilin phosphorylation. Pretreatment with cytochalasin D (1 μmol/l, 1 h pretreatment) also inhibited ET-induced Y397pFAK and cofilin phosphorylation and caPKCε-induced Y397pFAK. Neither inhibitor, however, interfered with ET-induced ERK1/2 activation. Finally, PP2 (50 μmol/l; 1 h pretreatment), a highly selective Src inhibitor, did not alter basal or ET-induced Y397pFAK. PP2 did, however, reduce basal and ET-induced phosphorylation of other sites on FAK, namely, Y576, Y577, Y861, and Y925. We conclude that the ET-induced signal transduction pathway resulting in down-stream Y397pFAK is partially dependent on PKCε, ROCK, cofilin, and assembled actin filaments, but not ERK1/2 or Src.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H1684-H1696
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number4 54-4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Actin
  • ERK
  • Heart
  • Hypertrophy
  • Proline-rich tyrosine kinase 2
  • Signal transduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


Dive into the research topics of 'Activation of focal adhesion kinase by protein kinase Cε in neonatal rat ventricular myocytes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this