In bovine adrenal chromaffin cells, prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) stimulates the formation of inositol phosphates and Ca2+ mobilization through its specific receptor [Yokohama, Tanaka, Ito, Negishi, Hayashi & Hayaishi (1988) J. Biol. Chem. 263, 1119-1122]. Here we show that PGE2-induced phosphoinositide metabolism was blocked by pretreatment with 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate (TPA). Using intact cells, we also examined the inhibitory effect of TPA on the individual steps of the activation process of phosphoinositide metabolism. The inhibition was observed within 1 min and complete by 10 min after addition of 1 microM-TPA, and half-maximal inhibition by TPA occurred at 20 nM. TPA prevented Ca2+ mobilization induced by PGE2, but not by the Ca2+ ionophore ionomycin. The inactive phorbol ester 4 alpha-phorbol 12,13-didecanoate did not inhibit the formation of inositol phosphates and Ca2+ mobilization by PGE2. TPA treatment affected neither the high-affinity binding of [3H]PGE2 to intact cells and membrane fractions nor the ability of guanosine 5′-[gamma-thio]triphosphate to decrease the binding in membrane fractions. TPA also abolished phosphoinositide metabolism induced by muscarinic-receptor activation. NaF plus AlCl3 and ionomycin caused the accumulation of inositol phosphates, probably by directly activating a GTP-binding protein(s) and phospholipase C respectively; neither accumulation was inhibited by TPA treatment. These results suggest that protein kinase C serves as a feedback regulator for PGE2-induced phosphoinositide metabolism. The site of action of TPA appears to be distal to the coupling of the receptor to GTP-binding protein, but on a component(s) specific to the agonist-induced phosphoinositide metabolism.

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