Mimicry of phorbol ester responses by diacylglycerols. Differential effects on phosphatidylcholine biosynthesis, cell-cell communication and epidermal growth factor binding

Jane G. Muir, Andrew W. Murray

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The biosynthesis of phosphatidylcholine (PC) in HEL-37 cells was followed by measuring the incorporation of [32P]Pi into PC. Incorporation was stimulated by 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate (TPA) and by the synthetic diacylglycerol, sn-1,2-dioctanoylglycerol (diC8), but not by sn-1-oleoyl-2-acetylglycerol or sn-1,2-dihexanoylglycerol (diC6). DiC8 was rapidly metabolised by HEL-37 cells to the corresponding PC and phosphatidic acid derivatives. diC8, diC6 and oleoylacetylglycerol effectively displaced [3H]phorbol-12,13-dibutyrate bound to a soluble cell extract from HEL-37 cells, but only diC8 was able to displace the labelled phorbol ester from prelabelled cells. TPA, diC8, diC6 and oleoylacetylglycerol were all effective inhibitors of 125I-labelled epidermal growth factor binding to, and gap junctional communication between, HEL-37 cells. It is concluded that only cell-permeable diacylglycerols stimulate PC biosynthesis which may therefore require interaction with membranes other than the plasma membrane.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-184
Number of pages9
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Cell Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 21 Feb 1986
Externally publishedYes


  • Diacylglycerol
  • Phorbol ester
  • Phosphatidylcholine synthesis

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