Proper control of cell-cell adhesion is crucial for embryogenesis and tissue homeostasis. In this study, we show that protein kinase C (PKC)δ, a member of the novel PKC subfamily, localizes at cell-cell contacts of epithelial cells through its C2-like domain in an F-actin-dependent manner. Upon hepatocyte growth factor stimulation, PKCd is phosphorylated and activated by Src, which then phosphorylates E-cadherin at Thr790. Phosphorylation of E-cadherin at Thr790 diminishes its interaction with β-catenin and impairs the homophilic interaction between the ectodomains of E-cadherin. The suppression of PKCδ by its dominant-negative mutants or specific short-hairpin RNA inhibits the disruption of cell-cell adhesions induced by hepatocyte growth factor. Elevated PKCδ expression in cancer cells is correlated with increased phosphorylation of E-cadherin at Thr790, reduced binding of E-cadherin to β-catenin, and poor homophilic interaction between E-cadherin. Analysis of surgical specimens confirmed that PKCδ is overexpressed in cervical cancer tissues, accompanied by increased phosphorylation of E-cadherin at Thr790. Together, our findings unveil a negative role for PKCδ in cell-cell adhesion through phosphorylation of E-cadherin.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes