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FEBS J. 2009 Oct;276(19):5547-58. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-4658.2009.07241.x. Epub 2009 Aug 19.

PI3K/Akt signalling-mediated protein surface expression sensed by 14-3-3 interacting motif.

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Department of Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA.


The regulation of protein expression on the cell surface membrane is an important component of the cellular response to extracellular signalling. The translation of extracellular signalling into specific protein localization often involves the post-translational modification of cargo proteins. Using a genetic screen of random peptides, we have previously identified a group of C-terminal sequences, represented by RGRSWTY-COOH (termed'SWTY'), which are capable of overriding an endoplasmic reticulum localization signal and directing membrane proteins to the cell surface via specific binding to 14-3-3 proteins. The identity of the kinase signalling pathways that drive phosphorylation and 14-3-3 binding of the SWTY sequence is not known. In this study, we report that the activation of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (Akt) pathway by the over-expression of active kinases, stimulation with fetal bovine serum or growth factors can: (a) phosphorylate the SWTY sequence; (b) recruit 14-3-3 proteins to SWTY; and (c) promote surface expression of the chimeric potassium channel fused with the SWTY sequence. The expression of the dominant negative Akt inhibited the enhancement of surface expression by fetal bovine serum. In addition, the activation of PI3K significantly enhanced the 14-3-3 association and cell surface expression of GPR15, a G protein-coupled receptor which carries an endogenous SWTY-like, C-terminal, 14-3-3 binding sequence and is known to serve as a HIV co-receptor. Given the wealth and specificity of both kinase activity and 14-3-3 binding sequences, our results suggest that the C-terminal SWTYlike motif may serve as a sensor that can selectively induce the cell surface expression of membrane proteins in response to different extracellular signals.

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