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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2000 Oct 24;97(22):11960-5.

Phosphorylation and inactivation of glycogen synthase kinase 3 by protein kinase A.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Therapeutics, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK-3) is implicated in multiple biological processes including metabolism, gene expression, cell fate determination, proliferation, and survival. GSK-3 activity is inhibited through phosphorylation of serine 21 in GSK-3 alpha and serine 9 in GSK-3 beta. These serine residues of GSK-3 have been previously identified as targets of protein kinase B (PKB/Akt), a serine/threonine kinase located downstream of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase. Here, we show that serine 21 in GSK-3 alpha and serine 9 in GSK-3 beta are also physiological substrates of cAMP-dependent protein kinase A. Protein kinase A physically associates with, phosphorylates, and inactivates both isoforms of GSK-3. The results indicate that depending on the stimulatory context, the activity of GSK-3 can be modulated either by growth factors that work through the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-protein kinase B cascade or by hormonal stimulation of G protein-coupled receptors that link to changes in intracellular cAMP levels.

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