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P70 S6 Kinase Is Regulated By Protein Kinase Cζ And Participates In A Phosphoinositide 3-Kinase-Regulated Signalling Complex

Angela Romanelli, Kathleen A. Martin, Alex Toker, John Blenis

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ABSTRACT p70 S6 kinase (p70S6K) is an important regulator of cell proliferation. Its activation by growth factor requires phosphorylation by various inputs on multiple sites. Data accumulated thus far support a model whereby p70S6K activation requires sequential phosphorylations at proline-directed residues in the putative autoinhibitory pseudosubstrate domain, as well as threonine 389. Threonine 229, a site in the catalytic loop is phosphorylated by phosphoinositide-dependent kinase 1 (PDK-1). Experimental evidence suggests that p70S6K activation requires a phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3-K)-dependent signal(s). However, the intermediates between PI3-K and p70S6K remain unclear. Here, we have identified PI3-K-regulated atypical protein kinase C (PKC) isoform PKCζ as an upstream regulator of p70S6K. In coexpression experiments, we found that a kinase-inactive PKCζ mutant antagonized activation of p70S6K by epidermal growth factor, PDK-1, and activated Cdc42 and PI3-K. While overexpression of a constitutively active PKCζ mutant (myristoylated PKCζ [myr-PKCζ]) only modestly activated p70S6K, this mutant cooperated with PDK-1 activation of p70S6K. PDK-1-induced activation of a C-terminal truncation mutant of p70S6K was also enhanced by myr-PKCζ. Moreover, we have found that p70S6K can associate with both PDK-1 and PKCζ in vivo in a growth factor-independent manner, while PDK-1 and PKCζ can also associate with each other, suggesting the existence of a multimeric PI3-K signalling complex. This work provides evidence for a link between a phorbol ester-insensitive PKC isoform and p70S6K. The existence of a PI3-K-dependent signalling complex may enable efficient activation of p70S6K in cells.