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EMBO J. 2009 Oct 21;28(20):3067-73. doi: 10.1038/emboj.2009.281. Epub 2009 Sep 24.

Emerging common themes in regulation of PIKKs and PI3Ks.

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Department of Molecular Biology, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.


Phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase-related kinases (PIKKs) comprise a family of protein kinases that respond to various stresses, including DNA damage, blocks in DNA replication, availability of nutrients and errors in mRNA splicing. PIKKs are characterized by the presence of a conserved kinase domain (KD), whose activity is regulated by two C-terminal regions, referred to as PIKK-regulatory domain (PRD) and FRAP-ATM-TRRAP-C-terminal (FATC), respectively. Here, we review functional and structural data that implicate the PRD and FATC domains in regulation of PIKK activity, drawing parallels to phosphatidylinositol-3 kinases (PI3K), lipid kinases that have sequence similarity to PIKKs. The PI3K C-terminus, which we propose to be equivalent to the PRD and FATC domains of PIKKs, is in close proximity to the activation loop of the KD, suggesting that in PIKKs, the PRD and FATC domains may regulate kinase activity by targeting the activation loop.

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