In this paper the signal transduction pathways evoked by bradykinin (BK) in MCF-7 breast cancer cells were investigated. BK activation of the B2 receptor provoked: (a) the phosphorylation of the extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2 (ERK1/2); (b) the translocation from the cytosol to the membrane of the conventional protein kinase C-α (PKC-α) and novel PKC-δ and PKC-ε; (c) the phosphorylation of protein kinase B (PKB/Akt); (d) the proliferation of MCF-7 cells. The BK-induced ERK1/2 phosphorylation was completely blocked by PD98059 (an inhibitor of the mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MAPKK or MEK)) and by LY294002 (an inhibitor of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)), and was reduced by GF109203X (an inhibitor of both novel and conventional PKCs); Gö6976, a conventional PKCs inhibitor, did not have any effect. The BK-induced phosphorylation of PKB/Akt was blocked by LY294002 but not by PD98059. Furthermore, LY294002 inhibited the BK-provoked translocation of PKC-δ and PKC-ε suggesting that PI3K may be upstream to PKCs. Finally, the proliferative effects of BK were blocked by PD98059, GF109203X and LY294002. These observations demonstrate that BK acts as a proliferative agent in MCF-7 cells activating intracellular pathways involving novel PKC-δ/-ε, PKB/Akt and ERK1/2.
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