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Curr Opin Struct Biol. 2002 Dec;12(6):761-7.

Regulation of protein kinases in insulin, growth factor and Wnt signalling.

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Section of Structural Biology, Institute of Cancer Research, Chester Beatty Laboratories, 237 Fulham Road, London SW3 6JB, UK.


Protein kinase cascades provide the regulatory mechanisms for many of the essential processes in eukaryotic cells. Recent structural and biochemical work has revealed the basis of phosphorylation regulation of three consecutive protein kinases - phosphoinositide-dependent kinase 1 (PDK1), protein kinase B (PKB)/Akt and glycogen synthase kinase 3beta (GSK3beta) - which transduce signals generated by insulin and/or growth factors binding to cell surface receptors. PDK1 and PKB are both AGC family kinases. Whereas PKB is positively regulated via its phosphorylated C-terminal hydrophobic motif, the activity and specificity of PDK1 are determined by equivalent hydrophobic motifs of substrate AGC kinases. In a contrasting mechanism, GSK3beta is negatively regulated by competitive autoinhibition by its phosphorylated N terminus. GSK3beta also functions in the developmental Wnt signalling pathway, but without cross-talk with the PDK1-PKB/Akt pathway. Structural studies of GSK3beta complexes are contributing to our understanding of the phosphorylation-independent mechanism that insulates the Wnt and insulin/growth factor pathways.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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