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Cell Death Differ. 2005 Jun;12(6):668-77.

Protein kinase CK2 phosphorylates and upregulates Akt/PKB.

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Venetian Institute of Molecular Medicine (VIMM), University of Padova, Padova, Italy.


Treatment of Jurkat cells with specific inhibitors of protein kinase CK2 induces apoptosis. Here we provide evidence that the anti-apoptotic effect of CK2 can be at least partially mediated by upregulation of the Akt/PKB pathway. Such a conclusion is based on the following observations: (1) inhibition of CK2 by cell treatment with two structurally unrelated CK2 inhibitors induces downregulation of Akt/PKB, as judged from decreased phosphorylation of its physiological targets, and immunoprecipitate kinase assay; (2) similar results are observed upon reduction of CK2 catalytic subunit by the RNA-interference technique; (3) Akt/PKB Ser129 is phosphorylated by CK2 in vitro and in vivo; (4) such a phosphorylation of activated Akt/PKB correlates with a further increase in catalytic activity. These data disclose an unanticipated mechanism by which constitutive phosphorylation by CK2 may be required for maximal activation of Akt/PKB.

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