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Biochem J. 1998 Apr 1;331 ( Pt 1):299-308.

Activation of protein kinase B beta and gamma isoforms by insulin in vivo and by 3-phosphoinositide-dependent protein kinase-1 in vitro: comparison with protein kinase B alpha.

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MRC Protein Phosphorylation Unit, Department of Biochemistry, University of Dundee, Dundee DD1 4HN, Scotland, U.K.


The regulatory and catalytic properties of the three mammalian isoforms of protein kinase B (PKB) have been compared. All three isoforms (PKBalpha, PKBbeta and PKBgamma) were phosphorylated at similar rates and activated to similar extents by 3-phosphoinositide-dependent protein kinase-1 (PDK1). Phosphorylation and activation of each enzyme required the presence of PtdIns(3,4,5)P3 or PtdIns(3,4)P2, as well as PDK1. The activation of PKBbeta and PKBgamma by PDK1 was accompanied by the phosphorylation of the residues equivalent to Thr308 in PKBalpha, namely Thr309 (PKBbeta) and Thr305 (PKBgamma). PKBgamma which had been activated by PDK1 possessed a substrate specificity identical with that of PKBalpha and PKBbeta towards a range of peptides. The activation of PKBgamma and its phosphorylation at Thr305 was triggered by insulin-like growth factor-1 in 293 cells. Stimulation of rat adipocytes or rat hepatocytes with insulin induced the activation of PKBalpha and PKBbeta with similar kinetics. After stimulation of adipocytes, the activity of PKBbeta was twice that of PKBalpha, but in hepatocytes PKBalpha activity was four-fold higher than PKBbeta. Insulin induced the activation of PKBalpha in rat skeletal muscle in vivo, with little activation of PKBbeta. Insulin did not induce PKBgamma activity in adipocytes, hepatocytes or skeletal muscle, but PKBgamma was the major isoform activated by insulin in rat L6 myotubes (a skeletal-muscle cell line).

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