Previously it was reported that transformation of NIH 3T3 fibroblast by the Ha-ras, v-src, v-fms, and A-raf oncogenes decreased the stimulatory effects of phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA; ‘TPA’), an activator of protein kinase C (PKC), on the phosphorylation of an endogenous 80 kDa substrate and on 86Rb uptake [Wolfman, Wingrove, Blackshear & Macara (1987) J. Biol. Chem. 262, 16546-16552], as well as on sphingomyelin synthesis [Kiss, Rapp & Anderson (1988) FEBS Lett. 240, 221-226]. Here, we investigated how transformation affects the PMA-stimulated hydrolysis of phosphatidylethanolamine (PtdEtn), a recently characterized mechanism which may contribute to the generation of the second messengers phosphatidic acid and 1,2-diacylglycerol. The effects of PMA were compared with those of bryostatin, a non-tumour-promoter activator of PKC. Transformation of NIH 3T3 cells with Ha-ras, v-raf, or A-raf enhanced the stimulatory effect of PMA on the phospholipase D-mediated hydrolysis of PtdEtn. On the other hand, the effects of bryostatin on PtdEtn hydrolysis were only slightly increased, if at all, in cells transformed with these oncogenes. In crude membrane preparations isolated from these transformed cells, PMA, but not bryostatin, enhanced the combined stimulatory effects of ATP and the GTP analogue guanosine 5′-[gamma-thio]triphosphate on phospholipase D-mediated PtdEtn hydrolysis. The PKC inhibitor 1-(5-isoquinolinesulphonyl)-2-methylpiperazine inhibited the stimulatory effect of PMA only in intact cells. These results indicate that transformation of cells by certain oncogenes differentially affects phospholipase D-mediated hydrolysis of PtdEtn induced by PMA and bryostatin, suggesting that the action of PMA might involve two different mechanisms.

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