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Atypical protein kinase C in cardiometabolic abnormalities

Farese, Robert V.a,b,c; Sajan, Mini P.a,b,c

Current Opinion in Lipidology: June 2012 - Volume 23 - Issue 3 - p 175–181
doi: 10.1097/MOL.0b013e328352c4c7
LIPID METABOLISM: Edited by Jeffrey S. Cohn

Purpose of review To review the aberrations of insulin signaling to atypical protein kinase C (aPKC) in muscle and liver that generate cardiovascular risk factors, including obesity, hypertriglyceridemia, hypercholesterolemia, insulin resistance and glucose intolerance in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), and obesity-associated metabolic syndrome (MetSyn).

Recent findings aPKC and Akt mediate the insulin effects on glucose transport in muscle and synthesis of lipids, cytokines and glucose in liver. In T2DM, whereas Akt and aPKC activation are diminished in muscle, and hepatic Akt activation is diminished, hepatic aPKC activation is conserved. Imbalance between muscle and hepatic aPKC activation (and expression of PKC-ι in humans) by insulin results from differential downregulation of insulin receptor substrates that control phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase. Conserved activation of hepatic aPKC in hyperinsulinemic states of T2DM, obesity and MetSyn is problematic, as excessive activation of aPKC-dependent lipogenic, gluconeogenic and proinflammatory pathways increases the cardiovascular risk factors. Indeed, selective inhibition of hepatic aPKC by adenoviral-mediated expression of kinase-inactive aPKC, or newly developed small-molecule biochemicals, dramatically improves abdominal obesity, hepatosteatosis, hypertriglyceridemia, hypercholesterolemia, insulin resistance and glucose intolerance in murine models of obesity and T2DM.

Summary Hepatic aPKC is a unifying target for treating multiple clinical abnormalities that increase the cardiovascular risk in insulin-resistant states of obesity, MetSyn and T2DM.

aMedical and Research Services, James A. Haley Veterans Medical Center

bDepartment of Internal Medicine, University of South Florida College of Medicine, Tampa

cMetabolism Division, Roskamp Institute, Sarasota, Florida, USA

Correspondence to Dr Robert V. Farese, MD, Research Service, James. A. Haley Veterans Medical Center, 13000 Bruce B. Downs Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33612, USA. Tel: +1 813 972 2000 (ext 4414); cell: +1 813 766 5657; fax: +1 813 972 7623; e-mail:

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.