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Protein Kinase A vs. Protein Kinase C: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sara Rehman || Published on January 25, 2024
Protein Kinase A (PKA) is activated by cyclic AMP and regulates diverse cellular functions; Protein Kinase C (PKC) is activated by calcium and lipid signals and involved in cell signaling.

Key Differences

Protein Kinase A (PKA) is an enzyme that becomes active in response to elevated levels of cyclic AMP (cAMP) in cells. Protein Kinase C (PKC) is activated by signals that increase cellular calcium levels and by the lipid diacylglycerol.
Huma Saeed
Jan 25, 2024
PKA primarily functions to phosphorylate target proteins, leading to changes in their activity, typically in response to hormonal signals. PKC, however, plays a crucial role in signal transduction pathways related to cellular proliferation, differentiation, and survival.
Sara Rehman
Jan 25, 2024
PKA is involved in regulating various cellular processes, including metabolism, gene transcription, and memory formation in the brain. In contrast, PKC is significantly involved in the immune response, neural signal processing, and cancer development.
Sara Rehman
Jan 25, 2024
The activation of PKA is a key step in many signaling pathways, particularly those mediated by G protein-coupled receptors. PKC, on the other hand, is involved in pathways triggered by growth factors, neurotransmitters, and other external stimuli.
Sara Rehman
Jan 25, 2024
PKA and PKC are both serine/threonine kinases, but they have different regulatory mechanisms and substrates, which reflects their distinct roles in cellular processes.
Sara Rehman
Jan 25, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Activation Mechanism

Activated by cyclic AMP (cAMP)
Activated by calcium ions and diacylglycerol
Sara Rehman
Jan 25, 2024

Main Function

Phosphorylates proteins in response to hormonal signals
Involved in cell signaling, especially in immune response and neural processes
Huma Saeed
Jan 25, 2024

Role in Cellular Processes

Regulates metabolism, gene transcription, and memory
Influences cellular proliferation, differentiation, and survival
Sara Rehman
Jan 25, 2024

Common Pathways

Mediated by G protein-coupled receptors
Triggered by growth factors and neurotransmitters
Harlon Moss
Jan 25, 2024

Involvement in Diseases

Dysregulation can affect metabolic and cardiac functions
Linked to cancer development and immune disorders
Aimie Carlson
Jan 25, 2024
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Protein Kinase A and Protein Kinase C Definitions

Protein Kinase A

PKA functions by phosphorylating specific target proteins.
PKA activation leads to changes in heart muscle contractions.
Sara Rehman
Dec 22, 2023

Protein Kinase C

Protein Kinase C is activated by calcium and lipid-derived signals.
PKC activation is a key event in T-cell activation in the immune system.
Sara Rehman
Dec 22, 2023

Protein Kinase A

Protein Kinase A is involved in several signal transduction pathways.
PKA plays a role in the memory formation process in the brain.
Sara Rehman
Dec 22, 2023

Protein Kinase C

Protein Kinase C is part of numerous cellular signaling processes.
PKC is crucial in the signal transduction for inflammation.
Sara Rehman
Dec 22, 2023

Protein Kinase A

PKA is regulated by the intracellular levels of cyclic AMP.
The increase in cAMP levels activates PKA during hormonal signaling.
Harlon Moss
Dec 22, 2023

Protein Kinase C

PKC is activated by diacylglycerol and calcium ions.
Calcium influx and diacylglycerol formation trigger PKC in certain cells.
Harlon Moss
Dec 22, 2023

Protein Kinase A

Dysregulation of PKA can affect various physiological functions.
Abnormal PKA activity is implicated in some types of heart disease.
Janet White
Dec 22, 2023

Protein Kinase C

PKC plays a role in cell growth, differentiation, and survival.
PKC is involved in the pathways leading to neuronal growth.
Huma Saeed
Dec 22, 2023

Protein Kinase A

Protein Kinase A is an enzyme that responds to cyclic AMP in cells.
PKA is crucial in the regulation of glycogen, sugar, and lipid metabolism.
Sara Rehman
Dec 22, 2023

Protein Kinase C

Abnormal PKC activity is associated with various diseases.
Dysregulation of PKC has been linked to cancer progression.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 22, 2023

FAQs

What activates PKC?

Increases in calcium levels and diacylglycerol.
Janet White
Jan 25, 2024

What is Protein Kinase C?

An enzyme activated by calcium and diacylglycerol for cell signaling.
Huma Saeed
Jan 25, 2024

What are the functions of PKA?

Regulates metabolism, gene transcription, and memory processes.
Janet White
Jan 25, 2024

How does PKA affect the heart?

It influences heart muscle contractions and cardiac function.
Janet White
Jan 25, 2024

Can PKA cause diseases?

Dysregulation can lead to metabolic and cardiac disorders.
Sara Rehman
Jan 25, 2024

Is PKC involved in the brain?

Yes, especially in neural signaling and growth.
Sara Rehman
Jan 25, 2024

What activates PKA?

Elevated levels of cyclic AMP.
Sara Rehman
Jan 25, 2024

What are the functions of PKC?

Involved in cell growth, differentiation, and immune response.
Sara Rehman
Jan 25, 2024

What is Protein Kinase A?

An enzyme that responds to cAMP for phosphorylating proteins.
Sara Rehman
Jan 25, 2024

Does PKA work in the immune system?

Indirectly, but it's not as central as PKC.
Harlon Moss
Jan 25, 2024

What types of cells use PKC?

Various, including immune cells, neurons, and some cancer cells.
Janet White
Jan 25, 2024

How is PKA activity regulated?

By the intracellular concentration of cAMP.
Janet White
Jan 25, 2024

Is PKC linked to cancer?

Yes, abnormal PKC activity can contribute to cancer development.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 25, 2024

What triggers PKC in neurons?

Neurotransmitters and growth factors.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 25, 2024

Are PKA and PKC related?

They are both serine/threonine kinases but have different roles and activation mechanisms.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 25, 2024

Can PKC be inhibited for cancer treatment?

Research is ongoing to target PKC in cancer therapies.
Sara Rehman
Jan 25, 2024

What triggers PKA activation?

Hormonal signals leading to increased cAMP.
Harlon Moss
Jan 25, 2024

What regulates PKC activity?

Calcium ions and diacylglycerol levels in cells.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 25, 2024

What is a common pathway for PKA?

G protein-coupled receptor pathways.
Sara Rehman
Jan 25, 2024

Can PKA be targeted for therapy?

Yes, in conditions like heart disease and metabolic disorders.
Harlon Moss
Jan 25, 2024
About Author
Written by
Sara Rehman
Sara Rehman is a seasoned writer and editor with extensive experience at Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Information Technology, she combines her academic prowess with her passion for writing to deliver insightful and well-researched content.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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