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Biochemistry. 2002 Jan 15;41(2):561-9.

Regulation of both PDK1 and the phosphorylation of PKC-zeta and -delta by a C-terminal PRK2 fragment.

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Division of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, School of Biological Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK.


The mechanism by which PDK1 regulates AGC kinases remains unclear. To further understand this process, we performed a yeast two-hybrid screen using PDK1 as bait. PKC-zeta, PKC-delta, and PRK2 were identified as interactors of PDK1. A combination of yeast two-hybrid binding assays and coprecipitation from mammalian cells was used to characterize the nature of the PDK1-PKC interaction. The presence of the PH domain of PDK1 inhibited the interaction of PDK1 with the PKCs. A contact region of PDK1 was mapped between residues 314 and 408. The interaction of PDK1 with the PKCs required the full-length PKC-zeta and -delta proteins apart from their C-terminal tails. PDK1 was able to phosphorylate full-length PKC-zeta and -delta but not PKC-zeta and -delta constructs containing the PDK1 phosphorylation site but lacking the C-terminal tails. A C-terminal PRK2 fragment, normally produced by caspase-3 cleavage during apoptosis, inhibited PDK1 autophosphorylation by >90%. The ability of PDK1 to phosphorylate PKC-zeta and -delta in vitro was also markedly inhibited by the PRK2 fragment. Additionally, generation of the PRK2 fragment in vivo inhibited by >90% the phosphorylation of endogenous PKC-zeta by PDK1. In conclusion, these results show that the C-terminal tail of PKC is a critical determinant for PKC-zeta and -delta phosphorylation by PDK1. Moreover, the C-terminal PRK2 fragment acts as a potent negative regulator of PDK1 autophosphorylation and PDK1 kinase activity against PKC-zeta and -delta. As the C-terminal PRK2 fragment is naturally generated during apoptosis, this may provide a mechanism of restraining prosurvival signals during apoptosis.

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