[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Phosphoinositide-dependent kinase-1 (PDK1) controls the activation of a subset of AGC kinases. Using a conditional knockout of PDK1 in haematopoietic cells, we demonstrate that PDK1 is essential for B cell development. B-cell progenitors lacking PDK1 arrested at the transition of pro-B to pre-B cells, due to a cell autonomous defect. Loss of PDK1 decreased the expression of the IgH chain in pro-B cells due to impaired recombination of the IgH distal variable segments, a process coordinated by the transcription factor Pax5. The expression of Pax5 in pre-B cells was decreased in PDK1 knockouts, which correlated with reduced expression of the Pax5 target genes IRF4, IRF8 and Aiolos. As a result, Ccnd3 is upregulated in PDK1 knockout pre-B cells and they have an impaired ability to undergo cell-cycle arrest, a necessary event for Ig light chain rearrangement. Instead, these cells underwent apoptosis that correlated with diminished expression of the pro-survival gene Bcl2A1. Reintroduction of both Pax5 and Bcl2A1 together into PDK1 knockout pro-B cells restored their ability to differentiate in vitro into mature B cells.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mutations leading to inappropriate activation of Akt isoforms contribute to proliferation and survival of a significant proportion of human cancers. Akt is activated by phosphorylation of its T-loop residue (Thr308) by the 3-phosphoinositide dependent kinase-1 (PDK1) and its C-terminal hydrophobic-motif (Ser473) by mTOR complex 2 (mTORC2). Potent PDK1 inhibitors such as GSK2334470 have recently been elaborated as potential anti-cancer agents. However these compounds were surprisingly ineffective at suppressing Akt activation. Here we demonstrate that resistance to PDK1 inhibitors results from Akt being efficiently recruited to PDK1 via two alternative mechanisms. The first involves ability of Akt and PDK1 to mutually interact with the PI 3-kinase second messenger PtdIns(3,4,5)P3. The second entails recruitment of PDK1 to Akt after its phosphorylation at Ser473 by mTORC2, via a substrate-docking motif termed the PIF-pocket. We find that disruption of either the PtdIns(3,4,5)P3 or the Ser473 phosphorylation/PIF-pocket mechanism, only moderately impacts on Akt activation, but induces marked sensitization to PDK1 inhibitors. These findings suggest that suppression of Ser473 phosphorylation by using mTOR inhibitors would disrupt the PIF-pocket mechanism and thereby sensitise Akt to PDK1 inhibitors. Consistent with this, we find combing PDK1 and mTOR inhibitors reduced Akt activation to below basal levels and markedly inhibited proliferation of all cell lines tested. Our results suggest further work is warranted to explore the utility of combining PDK1 and mTOR inhibitors as a therapeutic strategy for treatment of cancers that harbour mutations elevating Akt activity.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Here we describe a phosphorylation-based reverse myristoyl switch for mammalian ZNRF2, and show that this E3 ubiquitin ligase and its sister ZNRF1 regulate the sodium/potassium pump (Na(+)/K(+)ATPase). N-myristoylation targets ZNRF1 and ZNRF2 to intracellular membranes and enhances their activity. However, when ZNRF2 is phosphorylated in response to agonists including insulin and growth factors, it binds to 14-3-3 and is released into the cytosol. On membranes, ZNRF1 and ZNRF2 interact with the Na(+)/K(+)ATPase α1 subunit via their UBZ domains, while their RING domains interact with E2 proteins, predominantly Ubc13 that with Uev1a specifies formation of Lys63-ubiquitin linkages. ZNRF1 and ZNRF2 can ubiquitylate the nucleotide-binding/phosphorylation region of Na(+)/K(+)ATPase α1. Ouabain, a Na(+)/K(+)ATPase inhibitor and therapeutic cardiac glycoside, decreases ZNRF1 protein levels, while knockdown of ZNRF2 inhibits the ouabain-induced decrease of cell surface and total Na(+)/K(+)ATPase α1 levels. Thus, ZNRF1 and ZNRF2 are new players in regulation of the ubiquitous sodium/potassium pump that is tuned to changing demands in many physiological contexts.
Journal of Cell Science 07/2012; · 5.88 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Wnt/β-catenin signalling pathway plays important roles in embryonic development and carcinogenesis. Overactivation of the pathway is one of the most common driving forces in major cancers such as colorectal and breast cancers. The downstream effectors of the pathway and its regulation of carcinogenesis and metastasis are still not very well understood. In this study, which was based on two genome-wide transcriptomics screens, we identify MENA (ENAH, Mammalian enabled homologue) as a novel transcriptional target of the Wnt/β-catenin signalling pathway. We show that the expression of MENA is upregulated upon overexpression of degradation-resistant β-catenin. Promoters of all mammalian MENA homologues contain putative binding sites for Tcf4 transcription factor--the primary effector of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway and we demonstrate functionality of these Tcf4-binding sites using luciferase reporter assays and overexpression of β-catenin, Tcf4 and dominant-negative Tcf4. In addition, lithium chloride-mediated inhibition of GSK3β also resulted in increase in MENA mRNA levels. Chromatin immunoprecipitation showed direct interaction between β-catenin and MENA promoter in Huh7 and HEK293 cells and also in mouse brain and liver tissues. Moreover, overexpression of Wnt1 and Wnt3a ligands increased MENA mRNA levels. Additionally, knock-down of MENA ortholog in D. melanogaster eyeful and sensitized eye cancer fly models resulted in increased tumor and metastasis formations. In summary, our study identifies MENA as novel nexus for the Wnt/β-catenin and the Notch signalling cascades.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(5):e37013. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: PDK1 (3-phosphoinositide-dependent protein kinase 1) activates a group of protein kinases belonging to the AGC [PKA (protein kinase A)/PKG (protein kinase G)/PKC (protein kinase C)]-kinase family that play important roles in mediating diverse biological processes. Many cancer-driving mutations induce activation of PDK1 targets including Akt, S6K (p70 ribosomal S6 kinase) and SGK (serum- and glucocorticoid-induced protein kinase). In the present paper, we describe the small molecule GSK2334470, which inhibits PDK1 with an IC₅₀ of ~10 nM, but does not suppress the activity of 93 other protein kinases including 13 AGC-kinases most related to PDK1 at 500-fold higher concentrations. Addition of GSK2334470 to HEK (human embryonic kidney)-293, U87 or MEF (mouse embryonic fibroblast) cells ablated T-loop residue phosphorylation and activation of SGK isoforms and S6K1 induced by serum or IGF1 (insulin-like growth factor 1). GSK2334470 also inhibited T-loop phosphorylation and activation of Akt, but was more efficient at inhibiting Akt in response to stimuli such as serum that activated the PI3K (phosphoinositide 3-kinase) pathway weakly. GSK2334470 inhibited activation of an Akt1 mutant lacking the PH domain (pleckstrin homology domain) more potently than full-length Akt1, suggesting that GSK2334470 is more effective at inhibiting PDK1 substrates that are activated in the cytosol rather than at the plasma membrane. Consistent with this, GSK2334470 inhibited Akt activation in knock-in embryonic stem cells expressing a mutant of PDK1 that is unable to interact with phosphoinositides more potently than in wild-type cells. GSK2334470 also suppressed T-loop phosphorylation and activation of RSK2 (p90 ribosomal S6 kinase 2), another PDK1 target activated by the ERK (extracellular-signal-regulated kinase) pathway. However, prolonged treatment of cells with inhibitor was required to observe inhibition of RSK2, indicating that PDK1 substrates possess distinct T-loop dephosphorylation kinetics. Our data define how PDK1 inhibitors affect AGC signalling pathways and suggest that GSK2334470 will be a useful tool for delineating the roles of PDK1 in biological processes.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Wnt signaling pathway is involved in many differentiation events during embryonic development and can lead to tumor formation after aberrant activation of its components. beta-catenin, a cytoplasmic component, plays a major role in the transduction of canonical Wnt signaling. The aim of this study was to identify novel genes that are regulated by active beta-catenin/TCF signaling in hepatocellular carcinoma-derived Huh7 cells with high (transfected) and low beta-catenin/TCF activities. High TCF activity Huh7 cells led to earlier and larger tumor formation when xenografted into nude mice. SAGE (Serial Analysis of Gene Expression), genome-wide microarray and in silico promoter analysis were performed in parallel, to compare gene expression between low and high beta-catenin/TCF activity clones, and also those that had been rescued from the xenograft tumors. SAGE and genome-wide microarray data were compared and contrasted. BRI3 and HSF2 were identified as novel targets of Wnt/beta-catenin signaling after combined analysis and confirming experiments including qRT-PCR, ChIP, luciferase assay and lithium treatment.