The G(12) type of heterotrimeric G-proteins play an important role in development and behave as potent oncogenes in cultured cells. However, little is known about the molecular nature of the components that act in the G(12)-signaling pathway in an organism. We characterized a C. elegans Galpha subunit gene, gpa-12, which is a homolog of mammalian G(12)/G(13)alpha, and found that animals defective in gpa-12 are viable. Expression of activated GPA-12 (G(12)QL) results in a developmental growth arrest caused by a feeding behavior defect that is due to a dramatic reduction in pharyngeal pumping. To elucidate the molecular nature of the signaling pathways in which G(12) participates, we screened for suppressors of the G(12)QL phenotype. We isolated 50 suppressors that contain mutations in tpa-1, which encodes two protein kinase C isoforms, TPA-1A and TPA-1B, most similar to PKCtheta/delta. TPA-1 mediates the action of the tumor promoter PMA. Expression of G(12)QL and treatment of wild-type animals with PMA induce an identical growth arrest caused by inhibition of larval feeding, which is dependent on TPA-1A and TPA-1B function. These results suggest that TPA-1 is a downstream target of both G(12) signaling and PMA in modulating feeding and growth in C. elegans. Taken together, our findings provide a potential molecular mechanism for the transforming capability of G(12) proteins.