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FEBS Lett. 2011 Jul 21;585(14):2165-70. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2011.05.044. Epub 2011 Jun 2.

LRRK2 directly phosphorylates Akt1 as a possible physiological substrate: impairment of the kinase activity by Parkinson's disease-associated mutations.

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Division of Clinical Immunology, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kitasato University, Minami-ku, Sagamihara, Kanagawa, Japan.


LRRK2 is the causal molecule for autosomal-dominant familial Parkinson's disease, although its true function, including its physiological substrates, remains unknown. Here, using in vitro kinase assay with recombinant proteins, we demonstrated for the first time that LRRK2 directly phosphorylates Akt1, a central molecule involved in signal transduction for cell survival and prevention of apoptosis. Ser473, one of two amino acids essential for Akt1 activation, was the target site for LRRK2. A knockdown experiment using intact cells also demonstrated LRRK2-mediated phosphorylation of Akt1 (Ser473), suggesting that Akt1 is a convincing candidate for the physiological substrate of LRRK2. The disease-associated mutations, R1441C, G2019S, and I2020T, exhibited reduced interaction with, and phosphorylation of, Akt1, suggesting one possible mechanism for the neurodegeneration caused by LRRK2 mutations.

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