Hiraoka, D; Okumura, E; Kishimoto, T
Akt, also known as protein kinase B, has a central role in various signaling pathways that regulate cellular processes such as metabolism, proliferation and survival. On stimulation, phosphorylation of the activation loop (A-loop) and hydrophobic motif (HM) of Akt by the kinase phosphoinositide-dependent kinase 1 (PDK1) and the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 2 (mTORC2), respectively, results in Akt activation. A well-conserved threonine in the turn motif (TM) is also constitutively phosphorylated by mTORC2 and contributes to the stability of Akt. The role of TM phosphorylation in HM and A-loop phosphorylation has not been sufficiently evaluated. Using starfish oocytes as a model system, this study provides the first evidence that TM phosphorylation has a negative role in A-loop phosphorylation. In this system, the maturation-inducing hormone, 1-methyladenine, stimulates Akt to reinitiate meiosis through activation of cyclin B-Cdc2. The phosphorylation status of Akt was monitored via introduction of exogenous human Akt (hAkt) in starfish oocytes. TM and HM phosphorylation was inhibited by microinjection of an anti-starfish TOR antibody, but not by rapamycin treatment, suggesting that both phosphorylation events depend on TORC2, as reported in mammalian cells. A single or double alanine substitution at each of three phosphorylation residues revealed that TM phosphorylation renders Akt susceptible to dephosphorylation on the A-loop. When A-loop phosphatase was inhibited by okadaic acid (OA), TM phosphorylation still reduced A-loop phosphorylation, suggesting that the effect is caused at least partially through reduction of sensitivity to PDK1. Negative regulation by TM phosphorylation was also observed in constitutively active Akt and was functionally reflected in meiosis resumption. By contrast, HM phosphorylation enhanced A-loop phosphorylation and achieved full activation of Akt via a mechanism at least partially independent of TM phosphorylation. These observations provide new insight into the mechanism controlling Akt phosphorylation in the cell.
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Akt → mTORC2: " A well conserved threonine in the turn motif ( TM ) is also constitutively phosphorylated by mTORC2
to the stability of Akt
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