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Two sequences flanking the major autophosphorylation site of the insulin receptor are essential for tyrosine kinase activation.

ABSTRACT: The tyrosine kinase domain of the human insulin receptor (IR) contains several short amino acid motifs which are strictly conserved in all protein kinases and two sequence motifs which are specific to the tyrosine kinases (AAR or RAA and P(I)/VK/RWT/M). In the serine/threonine kinases these motifs are replaced by the sequences KPE and GT/SXXY/PX respectively. In the present work, the tyrosine kinase-specific sequences of the IR (1134AAR1136 and 1172PVRWM1176) were replaced using site-directed mutagenesis by sequences which confer a serine kinase specificity on the receptor. Five different IR mutants were expressed in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) or COS cells and their structural and functional properties compared with those of the wild-type recombinant human IR. These mutants are processed normally and bind insulin with normal affinities. None of the mutants containing a putative serine kinase-specific sequence display detectable autophosphorylation or tyrosine kinase activity in response to insulin, either in vitro or in vivo. These mutants were also unable to phosphorylate serine/threonine kinase substrates after insulin stimulation. Unexpectedly, they showed impaired ATP binding, as studied by an original technique consisting of cross-linking adenosine 5'-([35S]thio)triphosphate to partially purified receptors. Finally, none of the studied mutants transmit the insulin signal necessary to stimulate either DNA or glycogen synthesis. These data provide evidence for the importance of these conserved sequences in the kinase domain for both receptor activation and kinase activity. Furthermore, they demonstrate that the exchange of sequences specific to the catalytic domain of tyrosine kinases for those specific to the serine/threonine kinases is not sufficient to confer serine/threonine specificity on the insulin receptor.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC1136541 | BioStudies | 1995-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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