Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-1-2015

Comments

This article has been peer reviewed. It is the authors' final version prior to publication in Biochemical Journal

Volume 471, Issue 1, October 2015, Pages 37-51.

The final version of record is available at DOI: 10.1042/BJ20150325. Copyright © Chan et al.

Abstract

The Akt protein kinase, also known as protein kinase B, plays key roles in insulin receptor signalling and regulates cell growth, survival and metabolism. Recently, we described a mechanism to enhance Akt phosphorylation that restricts access of cellular phosphatases to the Akt activation loop (Thr(308) in Akt1 or protein kinase B isoform alpha) in an ATP-dependent manner. In the present paper, we describe a distinct mechanism to control Thr(308) dephosphorylation and thus Akt deactivation that depends on intramolecular interactions of Akt C-terminal sequences with its kinase domain. Modifications of amino acids surrounding the Akt1 C-terminal mTORC2 (mammalian target of rapamycin complex 2) phosphorylation site (Ser(473)) increased phosphatase resistance of the phosphorylated activation loop (pThr(308)) and amplified Akt phosphorylation. Furthermore, the phosphatase-resistant Akt was refractory to ceramide-dependent dephosphorylation and amplified insulin-dependent Thr(308) phosphorylation in a regulated fashion. Collectively, these results suggest that the Akt C-terminal hydrophobic groove is a target for the development of agents that enhance Akt phosphorylation by insulin.

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