PKCδ mediates mitochondrial ROS generation and oxidation of HSP60 to relieve RKIP inhibition on MAPK pathway for HCC progression

Jaya Prakash Mandal, Chiou Nan Shiue, Yen Cheng Chen, Ming Che Lee, Hsueh Hui Yang, Hsin Hou Chang, Chi Tan Hu, Pei Chen Liao, Lin Ching Hui, Ren In You, Wen Sheng Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Both protein kinase C (PKC) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) are well-known signaling messengers cross-talking with each other to activate mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) for progression of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, the underlying mechanisms are not well elucidated. Especially, whether mitochondrial ROS (mtROS) is involved and how it triggers MAPK signaling are intriguing. In this study, we found mtROS generation and phosphorylation of MAPKs were mediated by PKCδ in HCCs treated with the tumor promoter 12-O-tetradecanoyl-phorbol-13-acetate (TPA). Heat shock protein 60 (HSP60), one of the chaperones in mitochondria was the major protein oxidized in TPA-treated HCCs. Moreover, depletion of HSP60 or expression of HSP60 cysteine mutant prevented TPA-induced phosphorylation of MAPKs. To delineate how HSP60 mediated MAPK activation, the role of Raf kinase inhibitor protein (RKIP), a negative regulator of MAPK, was investigated. TPA dissociated RKIP from HSP60 in both mitochondria and cytosol, concurrently with translocation of HSP60 and MAPK from mitochondria to cytosol, which was associated with robust phosphorylation of MAPKs in the cytosol. Moreover, TPA induced opposite phenotypical changes of HCCs, G1 cell cycle arrest, and cell migration, which were prevented by mtROS scavengers and depletion of PKCδ and HSP60. Consistently, TPA increased the migration-related genes, hydrogen peroxide inducible clone5, matrix metalloproteinase-1/3, lamininγ2, and suppressed the cell cycle regulator cyclin E1 (CCNE1) via PKCδ/mtROS/HSP60/MAPK-axis. Finally, c-jun and c-fos were required for TPA-induced expression of the migration-related genes and a novel microRNA, miR-6134, was responsible for TPA-induced suppression of CCNE1. In conclusion, PKCδ cross-talked with mtROS to trigger HSP60 oxidation for release of RKIP to activate MAPK, regulating gene expression for migration, and G1 cell cycle arrest in HCC. Targeted therapy aiming at key players like PKCδ, RKIP, and HSP60 is promising for preventing HCC progression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-87
Number of pages19
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • ERK
  • HCC
  • HSP60
  • JNK
  • MAPK
  • mtROS
  • PKCδ
  • RKIP
  • ROS
  • TPA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology (medical)


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