4alpha-Phorbol negates the inhibitory effects of phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate on human cilia and alters the phosphorylation of PKC.


In medium 199, ciliary beat frequency (CBF) in human nasal epithelium declines to 60% of baseline by 2 h and 1 nM phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate (PMA) doubles the rate of decline by activating protein kinase C (PKC). We find that a reported negative control for PMA, 4alpha-phorbol (1 pM-1 nM)+/-1 nM PMA, not only maintains CBF at baseline, but arrests a pre-existing PMA-induced decline in CBF and alters the profile of multiple phosphorylated PKC species. Thus, 4alpha-phorbol not only potently prevents PMA from inhibiting CBF but also has potent effects on the phosphorylation of PKC.