We have previously demonstrated that a cultured porcine kidney cell, LLC-PK1, maintains the characteristics of a polar renal epithelial cell in culture, and responds to salmon calcitonin and [arginine]vasopressin by increasing cyclic AMP content. To demonstrate the usefulness of this cell line as a model for the study of the biochemical events distal to cyclic AMP production, the activation of cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase was examined. Intact cells in monolayer demonstrated progressive increases in cyclic AMP content and activation of protein kinase in response to [arginine]vasopressin (2–200nm) and salmon calcitonin (0.03–30nm) with both hormones fully activating the enzyme at a cell cyclic AMP content of 35pmol/mg of protein. Of the total cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase activity, 80% was found in the 27000g supernatant fraction of sonicated cell material, and this soluble protein kinase could be fully activated by hormone. Conversely, the 27000g pellet contained a significant proportion of cyclic AMP-independent protein kinase and only 20% of total cell cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase; the latter showed little response to hormone. On the basis of DEAE-cellulose chromatography, type II protein kinase was the predominant isoenzyme in both soluble and particulate fractions of the LLC-PK1 cells and the soluble fractions of rat and guinea-pig renal medulla. Thus, the LLC-PK1 cell line can serve as a model for hormonal modulation of protein kinase and as a potential source for defining the endogenous substrates for these enzymes.

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