5 years ago

PKC-epsilon deficiency alters progenitor cell populations in favor of megakaryopoiesis

Elisabetta Liverani, Satya P. Kunapuli, John C. Kostyak

by John C. Kostyak, Elisabetta Liverani, Satya P. Kunapuli


It has long been postulated that Protein Kinase C (PKC) is an important regulator of megakaryopoiesis. Recent contributions to the literature have outlined the functions of several individual PKC isoforms with regard to megakaryocyte differentiation and platelet production. However, the exact role of PKCε remains elusive.


To delineate the role of PKCε in megakaryopoiesis.

Approach and results

We used a PKCε knockout mouse model to examine the effect of PKCε deficiency on platelet mass, megakaryocyte mass, and bone marrow progenitor cell distribution. We also investigated platelet recovery in PKCε null mice and TPO-mediated signaling in PKCε null megakaryocytes. PKCε null mice have higher platelet counts due to increased platelet production compared to WT littermate controls (p<0.05, n = 8). Furthermore, PKCε null mice have more bone marrow megakaryocyte progenitor cells than WT littermate control mice. Additionally, thrombopoietin-mediated signaling is perturbed in PKCε null mice as Akt and ERK1/2 phosphorylation are enhanced in PKCε null megakaryocytes stimulated with thrombopoietin. Finally, in response to immune-induced thrombocytopenia, PKCε null mice recovered faster and had higher rebound thrombocytosis than WT littermate control mice.


Enhanced platelet recovery could be due to an increase in megakaryocyte progenitor cells found in PKCε null mice as well as enhanced thrombopoietin-mediated signaling observed in PKCε deficient megakaryocytes. These data suggest that PKCε is a negative regulator of megakaryopoiesis.

Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0182867

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