Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Genetics, Development and Cell Biology

First Advisor

Sheldon S. Shen


Protein kinase C (PKC) was originally described as a serine threonine kinase in brain tissue. This activity was found to be dependent upon Ca[superscript]2+ and phosphatidyl serine. Today protein kinase C consists of a family of kinases with nine known members. Some members are Ca[superscript]2+-independent isozymes, and all of them have subtle activation differences. The multiple isozymes with varying activities in addition to different tissue distributions lead to the idea that members of the family have different functions. PKC has been well studied in mammalian systems and it is concluded that PKC is activated in a complex array of signaling that develops when cells are stimulated by mitogens. Functions for PKC include involvement in cytoskeletal rearrangements, modulation of ion channel and transporters, and transcriptional regulation;Despite a vast amount of research on PKC in mammalian systems, the lower vertebrates and invertebrates have lagged in investigation of PKC. The lower vertebrates and invertebrates lend themselves well to developmental studies, processes in which PKC most likely plays a role. One organism widely used in developmental studies is the sea urchin. In order to better characterize the molecular aspects of development in the sea urchin it is necessary to identify the proteins that may be involved in some of these events. It has been demonstrated that sea urchins have a Ca[superscript]2+-dependent PKC activity. Biochemical purification of the kinase remains elusive, resulting in an inability to manipulate the activity of PKC. In order to characterize PKC from the sea urchin, a molecular approach was initiated. Screening of a sea urchin cDNA library has resulted in a cDNA clone for sea urchin PKC. This PKC appears to be a Ca[superscript]2+-dependent isozyme which confirms previous data from biochemical assays. The cloned gene bears strong homology to invertebrate and mammalian PKC sequences and contains all the sequence elements of the PKC family.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Terese Louise Rakow



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

92 pages