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Keywords:

  • Aromatic l-amino acid decarboxylase;
  • Phorbol ester;
  • Protein kinase C;
  • Protein phosphatase;
  • Striatum;
  • Midbrain

Abstract: Aromatic l-amino acid decarboxylase (AAAD) is required for the synthesis of catecholamines, serotonin, and the trace amines. We found that the protein kinase C activator phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate administered intracerebroventricularly transiently increased AAAD activity by 30–50% over control values within ∼30 min in the striatum and midbrain of the mouse. The enzyme increase was manifested as an apparent increase of Vmax with little change of Km for either l-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine or pyridoxal phosphate. Chelerythrine, a protein kinase C inhibitor, prevented the phorbol ester-induced increase of AAAD. Moreover, okadaic acid, a serine/threonine-selective protein phosphatase 1 and 2A inhibitor, also increased AAAD activity in the mouse striatum and midbrain. Taken together, these observations suggest that protein kinase C-mediated pathways modulate AAAD activity in vivo.