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J Cell Biol. 2005 Jul 18;170(2):295-304. Epub 2005 Jul 11.

JNK antagonizes Akt-mediated survival signals by phosphorylating 14-3-3.

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  • 1Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, University of Tokyo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0032, Japan.


Life and death decisions are made by integrating a variety of apoptotic and survival signals in mammalian cells. Therefore, there is likely to be a common mechanism that integrates multiple signals adjudicating between the alternatives. In this study, we propose that 14-3-3 represents such an integration point. Several proapoptotic proteins commonly become associated with 14-3-3 upon phosphorylation by survival-mediating kinases such as Akt. We reported previously that cellular stresses induce c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK)-mediated 14-3-3zeta phosphorylation at Ser184 (Tsuruta, F., J. Sunayama, Y. Mori, S. Hattori, S. Shimizu, Y. Tsujimoto, K. Yoshioka, N. Masuyama, and Y. Gotoh. 2004. EMBO J. 23:1889-1899). Here, we show that phosphorylation of 14-3-3 by JNK releases the proapoptotic proteins Bad and FOXO3a from 14-3-3 and antagonizes the effects of Akt signaling. As a result of dissociation, Bad is dephosphorylated and translocates to the mitochondria, where it associates with Bcl-2/Bcl-x(L). Because Bad and FOXO3a share the 14-3-3-binding motif with other proapoptotic proteins, we propose that this JNK-mediated phosphorylation of 14-3-3 regulates these proapoptotic proteins in concert and makes cells more susceptible to apoptotic signals.

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