Intramolecular and intermolecular interactions of protein kinase B define its activation in vivo.
ABSTRACT: Protein kinase B (PKB/Akt) is a pivotal regulator of diverse metabolic, phenotypic, and antiapoptotic cellular controls and has been shown to be a key player in cancer progression. Here, using fluorescent reporters, we shown in cells that, contrary to in vitro analyses, 3-phosphoinositide-dependent protein kinase 1 (PDK1) is complexed to its substrate, PKB. The use of Förster resonance energy transfer detected by both frequency domain and two-photon time domain fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy has lead to novel in vivo findings. The preactivation complex of PKB and PDK1 is maintained in an inactive state through a PKB intramolecular interaction between its pleckstrin homology (PH) and kinase domains, in a "PH-in" conformer. This domain-domain interaction prevents the PKB activation loop from being phosphorylated by PDK1. The interactive regions for this intramolecular PKB interaction were predicted through molecular modeling and tested through mutagenesis, supporting the derived model. Physiologically, agonist-induced phosphorylation of PKB by PDK1 occurs coincident to plasma membrane recruitment, and we further shown here that this process is associated with a conformational change in PKB at the membrane, producing a "PH-out" conformer and enabling PDK1 access the activation loop. The active, phosphorylated, "PH-out" conformer can dissociate from the membrane and retain this conformation to phosphorylate substrates distal to the membrane. These in vivo studies provide a new model for the mechanism of activation of PKB. This study takes a crucial widely studied regulator (physiology and pathology) and addresses the fundamental question of the dynamic in vivo behaviour of PKB with a detailed molecular mechanism. This has important implications not only in extending our understanding of this oncogenic protein kinase but also in opening up distinct opportunities for therapeutic intervention.
Project description:PDK1 activates a group of kinases, including protein kinase B (PKB)/Akt, p70 ribosomal S6 kinase (S6K), and serum and glucocorticoid-induced protein kinase (SGK), that mediate many of the effects of insulin as well as other agonists. PDK1 interacts with phosphoinositides through a pleckstrin homology (PH) domain. To study the role of this interaction, we generated knock-in mice expressing a mutant of PDK1 incapable of binding phosphoinositides. The knock-in mice are significantly small, insulin resistant, and hyperinsulinemic. Activation of PKB is markedly reduced in knock-in mice as a result of lower phosphorylation of PKB at Thr308, the residue phosphorylated by PDK1. This results in the inhibition of the downstream mTOR complex 1 and S6K1 signaling pathways. In contrast, activation of SGK1 or p90 ribosomal S6 kinase or stimulation of S6K1 induced by feeding is unaffected by the PDK1 PH domain mutation. These observations establish the importance of the PDK1-phosphoinositide interaction in enabling PKB to be efficiently activated with an animal model. Our findings reveal how reduced activation of PKB isoforms impinges on downstream signaling pathways, causing diminution of size as well as insulin resistance.
Project description:3-Phosphoinositide-dependent protein kinase-1 (PDK1) interacts stereoselectively with the d-enantiomer of PtdIns(3,4,5)P3 (KD 1.6 nM) and PtdIns(3,4)P2 (KD 5.2 nM), but binds with lower affinity to PtdIns3P or PtdIns(4,5)P2. The binding of PtdIns(3,4,5)P3 to PDK1 was greatly decreased by making specific mutations in the pleckstrin homology (PH) domain of PDK1 or by deleting it. The same mutations also greatly decreased the rate at which PDK1 activated protein kinase Balpha (PKBalpha) in vitro in the presence of lipid vesicles containing PtdIns(3,4,5)P3, but did not affect the rate at which PDK1 activated a PKBalpha mutant lacking the PH domain in the absence of PtdIns(3,4,5)P3. When overexpressed in 293 or PAE cells, PDK1 was located at the plasma membrane and in the cytosol, but was excluded from the nucleus. Mutations that disrupted the interaction of PtdIns(3,4,5)P3 or PtdIns(4,5)P2 with PDK1 abolished the association of PDK1 with the plasma membrane. Growth-factor stimulation promoted the translocation of transfected PKBalpha to the plasma membrane, but had no effect on the subcellular distribution of PDK1 as judged by immunoelectron microscopy of fixed cells. This conclusion was also supported by confocal microscopy of green fluorescent protein-PDK1 in live cells. These results, together with previous observations, indicate that PtdIns(3,4,5)P3 plays several roles in the PDK1-induced activation of PKBalpha. First, it binds to the PH domain of PKB, altering its conformation so that it can be activated by PDK1. Secondly, interaction with PtdIns(3,4,5)P3 recruits PKB to the plasma membrane with which PDK1 is localized constitutively by virtue of its much stronger interaction with PtdIns(3,4,5)P3 or PtdIns(4,5)P2. Thirdly, the interaction of PDK1 with PtdIns(3,4,5)P3 facilitates the rate at which it can activate PKB.
Project description:Protein kinase B (PKB/Akt) belongs to the AGC superfamily of related serine/threonine protein kinases. It is a key regulator downstream of various growth factors and hormones and is involved in malignant transformation and chemo-resistance. Full-length PKB protein has not been crystallised, thus studying the molecular mechanisms that are involved in its regulation in relation to its structure have not been simple. Recently, the dynamics between the inactive and active conformer at the molecular level have been described. The maintenance of PKB's inactive state via the interaction of the PH and kinase domains prevents its activation loop to be phosphorylated by its upstream activator, phosphoinositide-dependent protein kinase-1 (PDK1). By using a multidisciplinary approach including molecular modelling, classical biochemical assays, and Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET)/two-photon fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM), a detailed model depicting the interaction between the different domains of PKB in its inactive conformation was demonstrated. These findings in turn clarified the molecular mechanism of PKB inhibition by AKT inhibitor VIII (a specific allosteric inhibitor) and illustrated at the molecular level its selectivity towards different PKB isoforms. Furthermore, these findings allude to the possible function of the C-terminus in sustaining the inactive conformer of PKB. This study presents essential insights into the quaternary structure of PKB in its inactive conformation. An understanding of PKB structure in relation to its function is critical for elucidating its mode of activation and discovering how to modulate its activity. The molecular mechanism of inhibition of PKB activation by the specific drug AKT inhibitor VIII has critical implications for determining the mechanism of inhibition of other allosteric inhibitors and for opening up opportunities for the design of new generations of modulator drugs.
Project description:The serine-threonine protein kinases PDK1 and PKB each contain a pleckstrin homology (PH) domain that binds the membrane-bound phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-triphosphate [PI(3,4,5)P3] second messenger and is required for PDK1-catalyzed phosphorylation and activation of PKB. While X-ray structures have been reported for the individual regulatory PH and catalytic kinase domain constructs of both PDK1 and PKB, diffraction quality crystals of full length constructs have yet to be obtained, likely due to conformational heterogeneity. In developing alternative approaches to understanding the potential role of conformational dynamics in regulating PKB phosphorylation by PDK1, an efficient in vitro method for protein trans-splicing was developed, which utilizes the N- and C-terminal split inteins of the gene dnaE from Nostoc punctiforme [(N)NpuDnaE] and Synechocystis sp. strain PCC6803 [(C)SspDnaE], respectively. For conjugating the regulatory PH domain to the catalytic kinase domain of PDK1, the recombinant trans-splicing fusion constructs KINASE(AEY)-(N)NpuDnaE-His6 and GST-His6-(C)SspDnaE-(CMN)PH were designed, PCR assembled, overexpressed, and affinity purified. The cross-reacting (N)NpuDnaE and (C)SspDnaE inteins generated full length spliced-PDK1 with kobs = (2.8 +/- 0.3) x 10(-5) s(-1) and with < or =5% of any competing trans-cleavage reactions. Spliced-PDK1 was efficiently purified to > or =95% homogeneity from the reaction mixture by subsequent His6 affinity and ion exchange chromatography steps. In vitro kinase assays and phosphopeptide mapping studies confirmed that spliced-PDK1 retained the ability to colocalize and selectively phosphorylate Thr-309 of PKBbeta in a PI(3,4,5)P3-dependent manner. The high-level production and reconstitution of functional spliced-PDK1 establishes the feasibility of incorporating domain-specific biophysical probes for spectroscopic studies of regulatory PH domain mediated catalytic specificity.
Project description:Protein kinase B (PKB/Akt) is a key regulator of cell growth, proliferation and metabolism. It possesses an N-terminal pleckstrin homology (PH) domain that interacts with equal affinity with the second messengers PtdIns(3,4,5)P3 and PtdIns(3,4)P2, generated through insulin and growth factor-mediated activation of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K). The binding of PKB to PtdIns(3,4,5)P3/PtdIns(3,4)P2 recruits PKB from the cytosol to the plasma membrane and is also thought to induce a conformational change that converts PKB into a substrate that can be activated by the phosphoinositide-dependent kinase 1 (PDK1). In this study we describe two high-resolution crystal structures of the PH domain of PKBalpha in a noncomplexed form and compare this to a new atomic resolution (0.98 A, where 1 A=0.1 nm) structure of the PH domain of PKBalpha complexed to Ins(1,3,4,5)P4, the head group of PtdIns(3,4,5)P3. Remarkably, in contrast to all other PH domains crystallized so far, our data suggest that binding of Ins(1,3,4,5)P4 to the PH domain of PKB, induces a large conformational change. This is characterized by marked changes in certain residues making up the phosphoinositide-binding site, formation of a short a-helix in variable loop 2, and a movement of variable loop 3 away from the lipid-binding site. Solution studies with CD also provided evidence of conformational changes taking place upon binding of Ins(1,3,4,5)P4 to the PH domain of PKB. Our data provides the first structural insight into the mechanism by which the interaction of PKB with PtdIns(3,4,5)P3/PtdIns(3,4)P2 induces conformational changes that could enable PKB to be activated by PDK1.
Project description:We generated homozygous knockin ES cells expressing a form of 3-phosphoinositide-dependent protein kinase-1 (PDK1) with a mutation in its pleckstrin homology (PH) domain that abolishes phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-tris-phosphate (PtdIns(3,4,5)P3) binding, without affecting catalytic activity. In the knockin cells, protein kinase B (PKB) was not activated by IGF1, whereas ribosomal S6 kinase (RSK) was activated normally, indicating that PtdIns(3,4,5)P3 binding to PDK1 is required for PKB but not RSK activation. Interestingly, amino acids and Rheb, but not IGF1, activated S6K in the knockin cells, supporting the idea that PtdIns(3,4,5)P3 stimulates S6K through PKB-mediated activation of Rheb. Employing PDK1 knockin cells in which either the PtdIns(3,4,5)P3 binding or substrate-docking 'PIF pocket' was disrupted, we established the roles that these domains play in regulating phosphorylation and stabilisation of protein kinase C isoforms. Moreover, mouse PDK1 knockin embryos in which either the PH domain or PIF pocket was disrupted died displaying differing phenotypes between E10.5 and E11.5. Although PDK1 plays roles in regulating cell size, cells derived from PH domain or PIF pocket knockin embryos were of normal size. These experiments establish the roles of the PDK1 regulatory domains and illustrate the power of knockin technology to probe the physiological function of protein-lipid and protein-protein interactions.
Project description:The 3-phosphoinositide-dependent protein kinase-1 (PDK1) phosphorylates and activates a number of protein kinases of the AGC subfamily. The kinase domain of PDK1 interacts with a region of protein kinase C-related kinase-2 (PRK2), termed the PDK1-interacting fragment (PIF), through a hydrophobic motif. Here we identify a hydrophobic pocket in the small lobe of the PDK1 kinase domain, separate from the ATP- and substrate-binding sites, that interacts with PIF. Mutation of residues predicted to form part of this hydrophobic pocket either abolished or significantly diminished the affinity of PDK1 for PIF. PIF increased the rate at which PDK1 phosphorylated a synthetic dodecapeptide (T308tide), corresponding to the sequences surrounding the PDK1 phosphorylation site of PKB. This peptide is a poor substrate for PDK1, but a peptide comprising T308tide fused to the PDK1-binding motif of PIF was a vastly superior substrate for PDK1. Our results suggest that the PIF-binding pocket on the kinase domain of PDK1 acts as a 'docking site', enabling it to interact with and enhance the phosphorylation of its substrates.
Project description:3-Phosphoinositide-dependent kinase-1 (PDK1) is a ubiquitously expressed serine/threonine kinase that functions downstream of phosphoinositide 3-kinase. Although binding of 3'-phosphoinositides, phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate and phosphatidylinositol 3,4-bisphosphate, to the pleckstrin homology (PH) domain of PDK1 is known to be essential for its interaction with and activation of downstream kinases, the mechanism by which PDK1 is recruited to the plasma membrane remains controversial. Our surface plasmon resonance analysis of the PDK1 PH domain and selected mutants shows that the PH domain specifically binds phosphatidylserine using a site that is separate from the canonical phosphoinositide-binding site. Further cell studies show that this specific phosphatidylserine binding is important for the plasma membrane localization and signaling function of PDK1.
Project description:Phosphoinositide 3-kinases (PI3Ks) generate specific inositol lipids that have been implicated in the regulation of cell growth, proliferation, survival, differentiation and cytoskeletal changes. One of the best characterized targets of PI3K lipid products is the protein kinase Akt or protein kinase B (PKB). In quiescent cells, PKB resides in the cytosol in a low-activity conformation. Upon cellular stimulation, PKB is activated through recruitment to cellular membranes by PI3K lipid products and phosphorylation by 3'-phosphoinositide-dependent kinase-1 (PDK1). Here we review the mechanism by which PKB is activated and the downstream actions of this multifunctional kinase. We also discuss the evidence that PDK1 may be involved in the activation of protein kinases other than PKB, the mechanisms by which this activity of PDK1 could be regulated and the possibility that some of the currently postulated PKB substrates targets might in fact be phosphorylated by PDK1-regulated kinases other than PKB.
Project description:The PtdIns(3,4,5)P3-dependent activation of protein kinase B (PKB) by 3-phosphoinositide-dependent protein kinases-1 and -2 (PDK1 and PDK2 respectively) is a key event in mediating the effects of signals that activate PtdIns 3-kinase. The catalytic domain of serum- and glucocorticoid-regulated protein kinase (SGK) is 54% identical with that of PKB and, although lacking the PtdIns(3,4, 5)P3-binding pleckstrin-homology domain, SGK retains the residues that are phosphorylated by PDK1 and PDK2, which are Thr256 and Ser422 in SGK. Here we show that PDK1 activates SGK in vitro by phosphorylating Thr256. We also show that, in response to insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) or hydrogen peroxide, transfected SGK is activated in 293 cells via a PtdIns 3-kinase-dependent pathway that involves the phosphorylation of Thr256 and Ser422. The activation of SGK by PDK1 in vitro is unaffected by PtdIns(3,4,5)P3, abolished by the mutation of Ser422 to Ala, and greatly potentiated by mutation of Ser422 to Asp (although this mutation does not activate SGK itself). Consistent with these findings, the Ser422Asp mutant of SGK is activated by phosphorylation (probably at Thr256) in unstimulated 293 cells, and activation is unaffected by inhibitors of PtdIns 3-kinase. Our results are consistent with a model in which activation of SGK by IGF-1 or hydrogen peroxide is initiated by a PtdIns(3,4, 5)P3-dependent activation of PDK2, which phosphorylates Ser422. This is followed by the PtdIns(3,4,5)P3-independent phosphorylation at Thr256 that activates SGK, and is catalysed by PDK1. Like PKB, SGK preferentially phosphorylates serine and threonine residues that lie in Arg-Xaa-Arg-Xaa-Xaa-Ser/Thr motifs, and SGK and PKB inactivate glycogen synthase kinase-3 similarly in vitro and in co-transfection experiments. These findings raise the possibility that some physiological roles ascribed to PKB on the basis of the overexpression of constitutively active PKB mutants might be mediated by SGK.