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Activation of Protein Kinase C α Is Necessary for Sorting the PDGF β-Receptor to Rab4a-dependent Recycling

Previous studies showed that loss of the T-cell protein tyrosine phosphatase (TC-PTP) induces Rab4a-dependent recycling of the platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) β-receptor in mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs). Here we identify protein kinase C (PKC) α as the critical signaling component that regulates the sorting of the PDGF β-receptor at the early endosomes. Down-regulation of PKC abrogated receptor recycling by preventing the sorting of the activated receptor into EGFP-Rab4a positive domains on the early endosomes. This effect was mimicked by inhibition of PKCα, using myristoylated inhibitory peptides or by knockdown of PKCα with shRNAi. In wt MEFs, short-term preactivation of PKC by PMA caused a ligand-induced PDGF β-receptor recycling that was dependent on Rab4a function. Together, these observations demonstrate that PKC activity is necessary for recycling of ligand-stimulated PDGF β-receptor to occur. The sorting also required Rab4a function as it was prevented by expression of EGFP-Rab4aS22N. Preventing receptor sorting into recycling endosomes increased the rate of receptor degradation, indicating that the sorting of activated receptors at early endosomes directly regulates the duration of receptor signaling. Activation of PKC through the LPA receptor also induced PDGF β-receptor recycling and potentiated the chemotactic response to PDGF-BB. Taken together, our present findings indicate that sorting of PDGF β-receptors on early endosomes is regulated by sequential activation of PKCα and Rab4a and that this sorting step could constitute a point of cross-talk with other receptors.