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J Biol Chem. 2001 Nov 30;276(48):45289-97. Epub 2001 Sep 28.

The phosphoinositide-dependent kinase, PDK-1, phosphorylates conventional protein kinase C isozymes by a mechanism that is independent of phosphoinositide 3-kinase.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093-0640, USA.


Phosphorylation by the phosphoinositide-dependent kinase, PDK-1, is required for the activation of diverse members of the AGC family of protein kinases, including the protein kinase C (PKC) isozymes. Here we explore the subcellular location of the PDK-1-mediated phosphorylation of conventional PKCs, and we address whether this phosphorylation is regulated by phosphoinositide 3-kinase. Pulse-chase experiments reveal that newly synthesized endogenous PKC alpha is primarily phosphorylated in the membrane fraction of COS-7 cells, where it is processed to a species that is phosphorylated at the activation loop and at two carboxyl-terminal positions. This "mature" species is then released into the cytosol. Deletion of the plekstrin homology domain of PDK-1 results in a 4-fold increase in the rate of processing of PKC indicating an autoinhibitory role for this domain. Autoinhibition by the plekstrin homology domain is not relieved by binding 3'-phosphoinositides; PKC is phosphorylated at a similar rate in serum-treated cells and serum-starved cells treated with the phosphoinositide 3-kinase inhibitors, LY294002 and wortmannin. Under the same conditions, the PDK-1-catalyzed phosphorylation of another substrate, Akt/protein kinase B, is abolished by these inhibitors. Our data are consistent with a model in which PDK-1 phosphorylates newly synthesized PKC by a mechanism that is independent of 3'-phosphoinositides.

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