- We have isolated and characterized a new human cDNA, coding for a protein kinase, related to the protein kinase C (PKC) gene family. Although this protein kinase shares some homologous sequences and structural features with the four members of the PKC family initially isolated (alpha, beta I, beta II, and gamma), it shows more homology with the recently described PKC-related subfamily, encoded by the cDNAs delta, epsilon, and zeta. The transcript for this gene product, termed PKC-L, is most abundant in lung tissue, less expressed in heart and skin tissue, and exhibited very low expression in brain tissue. Thus, its tissue distribution is different from that described for other mammalian members of the PKC gene family, their expression being enriched in brain tissues. PKC-L is also expressed in several human cell lines, including the human epidermoid carcinoma line A431. The ability of phorbol esters to bind to and stimulate the kinase activity of PKC-L was revealed by introducing the cDNA into COS cells.