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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Feb 1, 1994; 91(3): 839–843.
PMCID: PMC521407

Cloning of an intracellular receptor for protein kinase C: a homolog of the beta subunit of G proteins.


Protein kinase C (PKC) translocates from the soluble to the cell particulate fraction on activation. Intracellular receptors that bind activated PKC in the particulate fraction have been implicated by a number of studies. Previous work identified 30- to 36-kDa proteins in the particulate fraction of heart and brain that bound activated PKC in a specific and saturable manner. These proteins were termed receptors for activated C-kinase, or RACKs. In the following study, we describe the cloning of a cDNA encoding a 36-kDa protein (RACK1) that fulfills the criteria for RACKs. (i) RACK1 bound PKC in the presence of PKC activators, but not in their absence. (ii) PKC binding to the recombinant RACK1 was not inhibited by a pseudosubstrate peptide or by a substrate peptide derived from the pseudosubstrate sequence, indicating that the binding did not reflect simply PKC association with its substrate. (iii) Binding of PKC to RACK1 was saturable and specific; two other protein kinases did not bind to RACK1. (iv) RACK1 contains two short sequences homologous to a PKC binding sequence previously identified in annexin I and in the brain PKC inhibitor KCIP. Peptides derived from these sequences inhibited PKC binding to RACK1. Finally, RACK1 is a homolog of the beta subunit of G proteins, which were recently implicated in membrane anchorage of the beta-adrenergic receptor kinase [Pitcher, J., Inglese, L., Higgins, J. B., Arriza, J. A., Casey, P. J., Kim, C., Benovic, J. L., Kwatra, M. M., Caron, M. G. & Lefkowitz, R. J. (1992) Science 257, 1264-1267]. Our in vitro data suggest a role for RACK1 in PKC-mediated signaling.

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