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J Biol Chem. 2001 Feb 2;276(5):3543-9. Epub 2000 Nov 3.

Protein kinase C-zeta phosphorylates insulin receptor substrate-1 and impairs its ability to activate phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase in response to insulin.

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Cardiology Branch, NHLBI, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


Protein kinase C-zeta (PKC-zeta) is a serine/threonine kinase downstream from phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase in insulin signaling pathways. However, specific substrates for PKC-zeta that participate in the biological actions of insulin have not been reported. In the present study, we identified insulin receptor substrate-1 (IRS-1) as a novel substrate for PKC-zeta. Under in vitro conditions, wild-type PKC-zeta (but not kinase-deficient mutant PKC-zeta) significantly phosphorylated IRS-1. This phosphorylation was reversed by treatment with the serine-specific phosphatase, protein phosphatase 2A. In addition, the overexpression of PKC-zeta in NIH-3T3(IR) cells caused significant phosphorylation of cotransfected IRS-1 as demonstrated by [(32)P]orthophosphate labeling experiments. In rat adipose cells, endogenous IRS-1 coimmunoprecipitated with endogenous PKC-zeta, and this association was increased 2-fold upon insulin stimulation. Furthermore, the overexpression of PKC-zeta in NIH-3T3(IR) cells significantly impaired insulin-stimulated tyrosine phosphorylation of cotransfected IRS-1. Importantly, this was accompanied by impaired IRS-1-associated phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase activity. Taken together, our results raise the possibility that IRS-1 is a novel physiological substrate for PKC-zeta. Because PKC-zeta is located downstream from IRS-1 and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase in established insulin signaling pathways, PKC-zeta may participate in negative feedback pathways to IRS-1 similar to those described previously for Akt and GSK-3.

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