Structural insights into the autoactivation mechanism of p21-activated protein kinase.
ABSTRACT p21-activated kinases (PAKs) play an important role in diverse cellular processes. Full activation of PAKs requires autophosphorylation of a critical threonine/serine located in the activation loop of the kinase domain. Here we report crystal structures of the phosphorylated and unphosphorylated PAK1 kinase domain. The phosphorylated PAK1 kinase domain has a conformation typical of all active protein kinases. Interestingly, the structure of the unphosphorylated PAK1 kinase domain reveals an unusual dimeric arrangement expected in an authentic enzyme-substrate complex, in which the activation loop of the putative "substrate" is projected into the active site of the "enzyme." The enzyme is bound to AMP-PNP and has an active conformation, whereas the substrate is empty and adopts an inactive conformation. Thus, the structure of the asymmetric homodimer mimics a trans-autophosphorylation complex, and suggests that unphosphorylated PAK1 could dynamically adopt both the active and inactive conformations in solution.
Article: Mutations in FLS2 Ser-938 Dissect Signaling Activation in FLS2-Mediated Arabidopsis Immunity.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: FLAGELLIN-SENSING 2 (FLS2) is a leucine-rich repeat/transmembrane domain/protein kinase (LRR-RLK) that is the plant receptor for bacterial flagellin or the flagellin-derived flg22 peptide. Previous work has shown that after flg22 binding, FLS2 releases BIK1 kinase and homologs and associates with BAK1 kinase, and that FLS2 kinase activity is critical for FLS2 function. However, the detailed mechanisms for activation of FLS2 signaling remain unclear. The present study initially identified multiple FLS2 in vitro phosphorylation sites and found that Serine-938 is important for FLS2 function in vivo. FLS2-mediated immune responses are abolished in transgenic plants expressing FLS2S938A , while the acidic phosphomimic mutants FLS2S938D and FLS2S938E conferred responses similar to wild-type FLS2. FLS2-BAK1 association and FLS2-BIK1 disassociation after flg22 exposure still occur with FLS2S938A, demonstrating that flg22-induced BIK1 release and BAK1 binding are not sufficient for FLS2 activity, and that Ser-938 controls other aspects of FLS2 activity. Purified BIK1 still phosphorylated purified FLS2S938A and FLS2S938D mutant kinase domains in vitro. Phosphorylation of BIK1 and homologs after flg22 exposure was disrupted in transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana plants expressing FLS2S938A or FLS2D997A (a kinase catalytic site mutant), but was normally induced in FLS2S938D plants. BIK1 association with FLS2 required a kinase-active FLS2, but FLS2-BAK1 association did not. Hence FLS2-BIK1 dissociation and FLS2-BAK1 association are not sufficient for FLS2-mediated defense activation, but the proposed FLS2 phosphorylation site Ser-938 and FLS2 kinase activity are needed both for overall defense activation and for appropriate flg22-stimulated phosphorylation of BIK1 and homologs.PLoS Pathogens 04/2013; 9(4):e1003313. · 9.13 Impact Factor