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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003 Nov 25;100(24):14006-11. Epub 2003 Nov 17.

Nuclear translocation of 3'-phosphoinositide-dependent protein kinase 1 (PDK-1): a potential regulatory mechanism for PDK-1 function.

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Department of Pharmacology, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, TX 78229, USA.


3'-Phosphoinositide-dependent protein kinase 1 (PDK-1) phosphorylates and activates members of the AGC protein kinase family and plays an important role in the regulation of cell survival, differentiation, and proliferation. However, how PDK-1 is regulated in cells remains elusive. In this study, we demonstrated that PDK-1 can shuttle between the cytoplasm and nucleus. Treatment of cells with leptomycin B, a nuclear export inhibitor, results in a nuclear accumulation of PDK-1. PDK-1 nuclear localization is increased by insulin, and this process is inhibited by pretreatment of cells with phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-kinase) inhibitors. Consistent with the idea that PDK-1 nuclear translocation is regulated by the PI3-kinase signaling pathway, PDK-1 nuclear localization is increased in cells deficient of PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homologue deleted on chromosome 10). Deletion mapping and mutagenesis studies unveiled that presence of a functional nuclear export signal (NES) in mouse PDK-1 located at amino acid residues 382 to 391. Overexpression of constitutively nuclear PDK-1, which retained autophosphorylation at Ser-244 in the activation loop in cells and its kinase activity in vitro, led to increased phosphorylation of the predominantly nuclear PDK-1 substrate p70 S6KbetaI. However, the ability of constitutively nuclear PDK-1 to induce anchorage-independent growth and to protect against UV-induced apoptosis is greatly diminished compared with the wild-type enzyme. Taken together, these findings suggest that nuclear translocation may be a mechanism to sequestrate PDK-1 from activation of the cytosolic signaling pathways and that this process may play an important role in regulating PDK-1-mediated cell signaling and function.

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