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Curr Biol. 2000 Nov 16;10(22):1439-42.

Inhibition of PDK-1 activity causes a reduction in cell proliferation and survival.

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Cancer Research Institute, University of California, San Francisco, California 94115, USA.


3-Phosphoinositide-dependent kinase-1 (PDK-1) was identified by its ability to phosphorylate and activate protein kinase B (PKB) in vitro [1,2] and can phosphorylate and activate additional protein kinases in the AGC family in vitro [3-6]. Its role in vivo has, however, only begun to be addressed. We used antisense oligonucleotides directed against PDK-1 expression to explore the role of PDK-1 in human glioblastoma cells (U87-MG), which express a mutant PTEN allele. Reduction in PDK-1 levels resulted in inhibition of PKB activity, and a reduction in phosphorylation on Thr308 and Ser473 of PKB. p70 S6 kinase (p70(S6K)) activity was also reduced. Cell proliferation was dramatically inhibited following treatment with PDK-1 antisense oligonucleotides, due to a combination of decreased cell doubling and an increase in apoptosis. This is in contrast to direct inhibition of phosphoinositide 3-OH kinase (PI 3-kinase), which results in G1 arrest with no effect on apoptosis. This study confirms both PKB and p70(S6K) as in vivo substrates for PDK-1. The effect of acute PDK-1 loss on cell proliferation and survival suggests the involvement of PI 3-kinase dependent and independent signaling events, and implicates PDK-1 as a potential therapeutic target for human neoplasms.

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