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J Biol Chem. 2012 Jun 15;287(25):20811-22. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M111.331827. Epub 2012 Apr 27.

PDK1 protein phosphorylation at Thr354 by murine protein serine-threonine kinase 38 contributes to negative regulation of PDK1 protein activity.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, School of Life Sciences, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju 361-763, Republic of Korea.


Murine protein serine-threonine kinase 38 (MPK38) is a member of the AMP-activated protein kinase-related serine/threonine kinase family, which acts as cellular energy sensors. In this study, MPK38-induced PDK1 phosphorylation was examined to elucidate the biochemical mechanisms underlying phosphorylation-dependent regulation of 3-phosphoinositide-dependent protein kinase-1 (PDK1) activity. The results showed that MPK38 interacted with and inhibited PDK1 activity via Thr(354) phosphorylation. MPK38-PDK1 complex formation was mediated by the amino-terminal catalytic kinase domain of MPK38 and the pleckstrin homology domain of PDK1. This activity was dependent on insulin, a PI3K/PDK1 stimulator, as well as various apoptotic stimuli, including TNF-α, H(2)O(2), thapsigargin, and ionomycin. MPK38 inhibited PDK1 activity in a kinase-dependent manner and alleviated PDK1-mediated suppression of TGF-β (or ASK1) signaling, probably via the phosphorylation of PDK1 at Thr(354). In addition, MPK38-mediated inhibition of PDK1 activity was accompanied by the modulation of PDK1 binding to its positive and negative regulators, serine/threonine kinase receptor-associated protein and 14-3-3, respectively. Together, these findings suggest an important role for MPK38-mediated phosphorylation of PDK1 in the negative regulation of PDK1 activity.

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