Investigations of protein kinase C (PKC) activity have focussed on protein phosphorylation using adenosine triphosphate (ATP), not guanosine triphosphate (GTP), as the phosphate donor. In a continuing study of the enzymology of the PKC of human neutrophils, we wanted to determine if there might be protein kinases that do use GTP as a phosphate donor. Soluble extracts or detergent-extracted fractions of human neutrophils were used as enzyme sources. Phosphorylation of histone using [gamma-32P]-GTP was 31% as effective as [gamma-32P]-ATP. Phosphorylation with GTP depended on Ca2+, Mg2+, and phospholipid, just as the ATP, and the Ca2+ requirements were similar. In all cases, H-7, an inhibitor of ATP-supported PKC activity, blocked GTP-utilizing activity. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) revealed that similar endogenous proteins were phosphorylated with ATP or GTP. The apparent Km and Vmax for the enzyme(s) for both phosphate donors were identical, although these were modified by treatment with Triton X-100. GTP competitively inhibited use of ATP by PKC; however, low concentrations of ATP enhanced GTP- utilizing kinase activity in some cases. Non-hydrolyzable forms of ATP and other nucleotide triphosphates were inhibitory. Detergent treatment also markedly altered the number of proteins phosphorylated by either nucleotide. The major protein phosphorylated in the soluble or detergent extract was a single polypeptide band in the 34 Kd range. These studies are the first to explicitly examine the possible phosphorylation by neutrophil PKC using GTP and point to a potential alternative mode of enzyme activity. Since high concentrations of GTP are available within neutrophils, the ability of PKC or a PKC-like enzyme to use this nucleotide may have important ramifications in signal transduction.

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