Protein kinase Cθ (PKCθ) is a member of the novel calcium-independent PKC family, with a relatively selective tissue distribution. Most studies have focused on its unique role in T-lymphocyte activation and suggest that inhibition of PKCθ could represent a novel therapeutic approach in the treatment of chronic inflammation, autoimmunity and allograft rejection. However, considering that PKCθ is also expressed in other cell types, including skeletal muscle cells, it is important to understand its function in different tissues before proposing it as a molecular target for the treatment of immune-mediated diseases. A number of studies have highlighted the role of PKCθ in mediating several intracellular pathways, regulating muscle cell development, homoeostasis and remodelling, although a comprehensive picture is still lacking. Moreover, we recently showed that lack of PKCθ in a mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) ameliorates the progression of the disease. In the present article, we review new developments in our understanding of the involvement of PKCθ in intracellular mechanisms regulating skeletal muscle development, growth and maintenance under physiological conditions and recent advances showing a hitherto unrecognized role of PKCθ in promoting muscular dystrophy.

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